Donald's Tire Trouble

A Donald Duck Cartoon

Release Date : January 29, 1943

Running Time : 7:31


A flat tire proves to be more than enough to try Donald's patience.


Donald Duck


Dick Lundy


United States
Cartoon Classics : Limited Gold Editions I : Donald
Hier ist Donald
Cartoon Classics : Limited Gold Editions I : Paperino


United States
Limited Gold Editions - Donald


Hello! Donald
I Love Donald
Donald : Limited Gold Edition


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


The Ink and Paint Club: Episode 56: Wartime Disney
The Mickey Mouse Club : November 20, 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.


From Ryan Kilpatrick at The Disney Film Project : After the deep and disturbing material of Education for Death, Donald’s Tire Trouble is a welcome respite. Getting back to a light hearted, fun short after lots of World War II and Nazi stuff is good. Sadly, though, Donald’s Tire Trouble didn’t measure up to me, and although still a different tone, it wasn’t as good as I had hoped for.

I’m sure part of that was the contrast. After such dark material, I was hoping for a light, funny short that pushed all the familiar buttons. While Donald’s Tire Trouble is a familiar Donald formula, it’s almost too formulaic. It’s honestly a one note joke, and doesn’t come off as much more than that.

The idea is that Donald is zooming down the road, burning rubber, when he gets a flat tire. Due to the rubber shortage during the war, he doesn’t have a spare, so has to fix the flat and try to make do with it. It doesn’t seem like enough for an entire short, and it really does work hard to stretch the material to fit.

I will say this, Donald gets himself in some precarious positions during this short. It was relatable, because I can clearly see moments in my life when I have been cruising along, and a speed bump got in the way. No matter how hard you try to keep your cool in those situations, sometimes things just keep getting worse. That’s the way things go for Donald in this case.

The gags are good, don’t get me wrong. Seeing Donald get folded up in the jack, the tire rim, and the tire itself are all pretty funny. But the problem is that it’s the same joke over and over again. Donald tries to get loose, ends up getting more stuck, then gets into another piece of the puzzle and the cycle repeats itself.

The best bit in the whole short to me was the ending piece, where we get to see inside Donald’s head. It’s then we get an idea of what happens to Donald when he gets so worked up. The shot reveals a spring in Donald’s head getting wound tighter and tighter, until it suddenly bursts. Been there, done that.

Donald’s Tire Trouble suffers from a lack of story. Those of you who’ve read this blog before know my complaints about that. I think it’s just a case of a good idea not being fully developed. Still, so long as Donald is not dealing with Nazis, it’s a positive.

From Jerry Edwards : While speeding through the countryside, Donald has a flat tire. Due to the wartime rubber shortage, Donald has several hilarious misadventures in trying to get the tire tube patched and the tire put back on the car. After several failed attempts to get the tire put back together, the parts shoot up in the air and fall into place. Thinking he has won, Donald climbs back into the car, only to have all four tires immediately go flat. Donald throws a fit and drives off with all four flat tires.

A very funny cartoon - although the flat tire repair situations are stretched to the "breaking point" to fill up a regular length cartoon, and that gets a little tiresome for me.

I consider this to be one of Disney's World War II shorts due to the reference to the wartime rubber shortage.

From Ryan : This short is pretty good and I enjoy watching it. Donald's having difficulties with the flat tire makes me laugh and feel empathy for him at the same time. However, the ending just makes me laugh even harder. Donald gets done fixing the tire (with a little help from some good luck), but as soon as he gets in and starts the car, all the tires go flat. Well by now poor Donald doesn't care what happens and just wants to get home. He ends up driving with four flat tires.
From Graham Hackett : This is one of my favorite 1943 shorts. It begins with Donald speeding across the countryside untill he gets flat tires and a lucky horseshoe spinning around his neck with him saying "good luck, BAH!". At the end of this short Donald goes berserk and had to drive with flat tires. This short made sense because in WWII all the service stations where closed and people had to fix their own tires.
From Dark Shooter : By far one of my favorite Donald Duck cartoons. I grew up watching the old Donald Duck Gold Collection VHS relased in the 80's, and this was one of the shorts on the disc (Including A Good Time for a Dime, which was the inspiration for Futurama's Suicide Booths.)

I had forgotten the particulars of the episode until I watched it again recently. The comment about the rubber shortage when Donald looks at the horribly patched tire tube gave me the best laugh in months. The beauty of this episode lies in a sense of timelessness of the comedy, even though it has many elements of wartime rationing throughout the short.

It's Donald Duck doing what he does best: turning a simple job into a maelstrom of infuriation. Plus, this is one of those times when he really blows a gasket in his head. pure gold.

From Baruch Weiss : This short is ok but it isn't one of my favorites. Seeing the Duck having all of those difficulties fixing the tire gets tiring for me. "Gosh, there's always something to screw up somebody's fun!" You said it Duck, but at the time this cartoon was released it was World War Two and rubber was scarce on the home front!
From Trae Robinson : The ending is really funny when Donald goes nuts and then he jumps up and down on his car.
From Dino Cencia : My favorite part in this short is when Donald gets in his car and the 4 tires go flat, and Donald looks at the camera and goes "Retreads! Retreads!" And Donald drives home with 4 flat tires. Well, I hope that on his way home, Donald can find a repair shop to fix his tires. This short is my favorite also and I give it a 500.
From Abigail Watson : I like this short, as not only is it very funny to watch, but it's also very neat too. Plus, I like the part where Donald says, "Doggone rubber shortage!", mostly because there was a rubber shortage in the 1940s.

Referenced Comments