Trombone Trouble

A Donald Duck Cartoon

Release Date : February 18, 1944

Running Time : 7:03


Pete's trombone playing is so awful and loud that it even incurs the wrath of the Gods. Donald Duck is eventually called in to help, but as it turns out, his playing is even worse!


Donald Duck


Jack King
Paul Allen
Andy Engman
Jack Hannah
Carl Barks


Donald Präsentiert
Donald Duck's Ferienabenteuer
Mickey, Donald, Pluto et Dingo en Vacances
Come Divertirsti Con Paperino & C.


Starring Donald
Let's Relax


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 11: The Many Lives of Pegleg Pete
Mickey's Mouse Tracks: Episode 48

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 : At the heart of Trombone Trouble is a very interesting premise – what happens when Donald gets the ability to push back on someone making his life difficult? After all, we have all seen Donald get pushed around and had his frustration level rise. What would happen if he were able to get his way for once?

Sadly, though, in order to get to that premise, the filmmakers decided to take a round about route. Pete, the ever present villain who has moved on to torment Donald in the war years, is playing a trombone in his home very loudly. Up in the clouds, we see the Greek gods Jupiter and Vulcan unable to sleep because of the noise.

This raises some valid questions – why are Greek gods located over the United States? How loud can Pete play? If it’s so loud that it can be heard in the heavens, why does the sheer force of the sound waves not destroy everything in its path?

These are all just minor concerns, but they took me out of the story, which is not something you want in a short seven minute film. The Greek gods do serve a purpose, though, as they are looking for a way to silence Pete and his trombone. They find a willing accomplice in Donald Duck, who is next door trying to sleep.

Jupiter powers up Donald with a fraction of his power, to allow Donald to take care of Pete. If there had been perhaps another method of getting to that point, it could have been much more interesting. I did find the scenes of Donald getting his payback on Pete very amusing. He attacks with strength, electricity and just plain meanness that is amusing and impressive.

In the end he does chase Pete away, much to the delight of the Greek gods. Unfortunately for them, Donald decides to pick up the trombone and make some more noise, so it doesn’t end well. The bad part of this is that there is no real fun to be had in the animation or the story. There certainly could have been, but the set up is so difficult and complex that it doesn’t leave time for that. It’s fun, but could have been so much better.

From Tom Wilkins : Don't even ask me how loud Peg Leg Pete is playing if it's loud enough to wake up the mythological Gods. As a trombonist, I can tell you already that Pete sounds like he is spazzing out on the instrument! Donald's plea falls on deaf ears when Pete uses the trombone as a prop to assist in impersonating the Big Bad Wolf blowing the houses down! Devious Donald becomes electric thanks to the lightning quick thinking of the Gods, and after he takes care of Pete, takes over for him with the same dissonant tone. By the way, what song were those two playing anyway?
From Ryan : This is one of my favorite Donald Duck shorts. I enjoyed the part where the gods give Donald super powers so that he can take care of Pete, who has been annoying the gods by playing his trombone. At the end, Pete ends up in a mill pond with a wheel paddling his butt. Donald begins playing the trombone and the gods just fall over in frustration.
From Gijs Grob : A quite silly cartoon (Greek Gods on a cloud above the States?) with some wonderfully awful trombone playing (Peg leg Pete himself wears corks in his ears). The cartoon contains good gags, but is rather slow.
From Steve Faul : Writer Carl Barks had a knack for exploring the darker side of Donald Duck's personality. In this cartoon we see Donald at his darkest. Check out the extreme character animation when he discovers he has God-like power and tell me you don't feel it along with him. Contrast that to the close-up of Pete's placid gaze as he honks on his trombone. Who's the villain here anyway? Anybody who thinks all Disney shorts are bland needs to see this.
From Baruch Weiss : I love this short because it deals with something I bet everyone has to put up with an annoying neighbor. I loved the end where Donald wins (one of the few times that he does) and plays the trombone himself.