Poster

Donald's Gold Mine

A Donald Duck Cartoon

Release Date : July 24, 1942

Running Time : 7:15

Synopsis

Donald attempts to dig for gold with difficult equipment and an uncooperative donkey.

Characters

Donald Duck
Jenny, the Burro

Credits

Director
Dick Lundy
Animation
Bob Carlson
Andy Engman

Video

Germany
Winnie Puuh und Donald auf Heißer Fährte
Italy
Troppo Vento Per Winnie Puh
Paperino nel Far West

Laserdiscs

Japan
Donald Duck Goes West

DVD

United States
Disney Treasures : Wave 5 : The Chronological Donald Volume 2
Germany
Disney Treasures : Wave 5 : The Chronological Donald Volume 2

Television

Mickey's Mouse Tracks: Episode 40
Donald's Quack Attack: Episode 22
The Mickey Mouse Club : October 15, 1956

Technical Specification

Color Type: Technicolor
Animation Type: Standard animation
Sound Mix: Mono
Aspect Ratio: 1.37 : 1
Negative Format: 35mm
Print Format: 35mm
Cinematographic Process: Spherical
Original Language: English

Released by RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.

Comments

From Ryan Kilpatrick at The Disney Film Project : Donald is just the type of person you would imagine is always looking for ways to get rich. Therefore, it was not surprising to me to see Donald’s Goldmine, in which Donald tries to find gold. Donald does his best to be a great miner, but as in everything else he does, it does not turn out as planned.

This is a little bit of an understated Donald. We don’t get to see him jumping up and down and going on a rant like you normally would. This seems to be a more restrained Donald, which is somewhat odd, but intriguing, too. Throughout his travails in this short, he seems to be more focused on survival than trying to get revenge or getting his way.

The first thing that Donald faces in this short is simply trying to get around with all his tools. After shoveling coal, he ends up swallowing some, he gets stuck in his pick axe and is an all around mess. For some reason it stuck out to me in this short that Donald is merely annoyed or irritated by what’s going on, and not his normal hopping mad self.

The pick segment is kind of disappointing, because of that. The pick gets stuck in his clothes, and turns Donald into all sorts of contortions trying to get out. While the various twists and turns he takes are pretty funny, I kept waiting for Donald to start screaming and yelling, but it didn’t happen.

The counterpoint to Donald in this short is actually a donkey. The donkey isn’t named in the short and serves as the voice of the audience, to laugh at Donald when he gets in these predicaments. It’s not something I recall seeing before with Donald. We had the horse laughing at Goofy in How To Ride A Horse, but using the concept in a Donald short is a little different.

After all of those mishaps, you’d think Donald would not be able to find gold, but he does. In good Donald fashion, though, that only causes more problems, as he gets dumped in to the ore wagon and put through the conveyor belt, facing dangers along the way.

This part of the short was almost like an adventure movie, with Donald dodging impending doom over and over again. He nearly gets ground into gears, pounded flat on the conveyor belt and shaken to pieces. While it’s great animation and fun to watch, it just doesn’t seem like Donald.

Goofy would have been a better fit to this short, in my opinion. At this point in time he was really only doing the “How To” shorts, but this would have been a great fit for the Goof. Not to say that Donald isn’t good, but the whole short doesn’t fit his character too well. Still, it’s a good short with some interesting bits.


From Ryan : This is one of those shorts that I like, but it wouldn't fall into my "favorites" category. I only saw this short once on the Disney Channel as a "time-filler." This short is similar to The Village Smithy, as there is an uncooperating donkey in this short as well.
From Erin : I vividly remember this cartoon short from my childhood, because it made me feel physically uncomfortable! I felt so awful for Donald, and the whole short was tense and painful, as I watched him move from one uncomfortable position to another. I was probably a weird kid, but I just recall pitying Donald-- not finding the cartoon very funny at all!
From Ajisai : Like Donald's Dog Laundry, the best parts of this cartoon are near the end, when Donald gets mixed up in the mining equipment, and there are some great gags. The rest of it, I could really do without.
From Baruch Weiss : This short was okay, but I would not call it one of my favorites. Donald's donkey refuses to cooperate with him and in the end he ends up getting caught in the tools and ends up looking like a bar of gold. In addition, I noticed how Donald was acting out of character. When he gets two pieces of the gold he goes crazy and acts like he found a million bucks, but Leonard Maltin noted how Donald has more to offer than just one emotion so I guess it is not surprising.
From Ralph W. Daniel : For some reason, Donald is not his usual pure white self; his body is cream-colored. I don't believe this was done in any other Donald cartoon short.