Poster

Contrary Condor

A Donald Duck Cartoon

Release Date : April 21, 1944

Running Time : 8:03

Synopsis

While mountain climbing in the Andes, Donald is taken under the wing of a mother condor who mistakes him for one of her newborn babies.

Characters

Donald Duck
Condor (unnamed)
Baby Condor

Credits

Director
Jack King
Story
Rex Cox

Video

Germany
Happy Birthday, Donald!
Donald 50 Verrückte Jahre
France
Bon Anniversaire Donald
Italy
Paperino 60 Anni in Allegria
Le Avventure di Caccia del Prof. de Paperis
I 50 Anni Folli di Paperino

Laserdiscs

Japan
The Hunting Instinct
Donald's Birthday Bash
Donald Duck's 50 Crazy Years

DVD

United States
Disney Treasures : Wave 5 : The Chronological Donald Volume 2
Walt Disney's Funny Factory with Donald
Germany
Disney Treasures : Wave 5 : The Chronological Donald Volume 2
Canada
Walt Disney's Funny Factory with Donald

Television

The Ink and Paint Club: Episode 54: More Goin' to the Birds

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 sure is having a lot of animal trouble in 1944. Yesterday we looked at his issues with a gorilla, and today, it’s Donald having some trouble with a condor. Contrary Condor features Donald looking to collect a condor egg from somewhere high in the Andes.

Originally created as part of the South America shorts born out of the Good Neighbor project, Contrary Condor is sort of a hybrid. Partially, it’s a “How To” short like the Goofy shorts, but it’s also an opportunity for Donald to do the comedy that he is best at, in trying to pull off something somewhat evil and being foiled.

This time, he is attempting to collect a condor egg from a nest high up on top of a mountain in the Andes. Doesn’t seem like a wise move, does it? Regardless, Donald climbs up to the peak to take a stab at getting the egg. He gets more than he bargained for, however, when one of the eggs hatches, and through a series of events he ends up inside a shell.

Watching Donald sweat inside the egg shell and eventually “hatch” is quite funny, and an inventive gag. That’s only the beginning, however, as the mother condor comes back and is shocked to see two babies in her nest – the real condor child and Donald. Hurriedly, Donald sticks his hat over his tail to simulate condor feathers.

As you may imagine, hilarity ensues, as the narrator describes the life cycle of a condor, but with Donald subbing in as the baby instead. The best part of this is when the mother condor is trying to get her children to fly. The actual condor takes to it easily, but you can imagine that Donald does not want to jump off a mountain top and then plummet to his death.

He comes up with an elaborate ruse of throwing a “dummy” condor over the side of the nest and into the water below, leaving the mother inconsolable, but it backfires. Doesn’t it always? The point of the short is pretty good, showing the conservationist point of view that collecting condor eggs isn’t the best thing. The humor, though, seems more fit for a Goofy short. It’s another case of the studio using Donald as their default rather than looking to fit the story to the character.


From Richie : I'll agree to disagree, I believe Donald was the indicate character to perform in this short. A big element of the plot lies on the Condor Mother mistaking the protagonist for her child, and isn't it easier when said person is a bird already? Not to mention we're dealing with less-than-model behavior here, which was obviously Donald's territory.

Perhaps you seem to think someone else could have been better due to the humor employed, what with the narrator and all, but I say that a good character can handle some variety as far as his way of producing laughs goes.


From Ryan : While I find this short quite humorous, it really doesn't interest me. Donald Duck is in the Andes, studying condors. He takes a giant condor egg and it hatches. Donald hides in the egg as the mother returns. When she sits on him, he gets too hot and nudges her. She then thinks Donald is her baby.
From Baruch Weiss : This short is okay, but it is not one of my favorites. However, I liked the part where Donald was in the egg. He then checks his thermometer and it breaks because it was so hot in the egg. Donald sure went into a lot of trouble to get into it, he probably got bad influence from Mickey in the 1936 cartoon Alpine Climbers.
From Bryan Hensley : One of the world's least appreciated scientists is the Ornithologist, or egg collector to you. And small wonder; Donald tried to steal an unhatched condor egg while its older sibling was watching! I never did think that condors would sound like chickens, like they did in this short. If I was in Donald's predicament inside the egg, I would melt! Just look at this short from either volume 2 of Disney's Funny Factory collection, or the Classic Caballeros Collection DVD, and you'll see why egg collectors have a tough career. Even from one who came from an egg, like Donald Duck for instance. So you see how difficult it is to get the egg, without getting the bird. The Andes are no picnic to climb just by hearing of how tall they are! (Unless you have plungers tied to your feet.) I hope you enjoy this South American egg-collecting adventure of height-dizzying proportions!