The Plastics Inventor

A Donald Duck Cartoon

Release Date : September 1, 1944

Running Time : 7:07


In much the same spirit as 1941's "Chef Donald", Don decides to build an airplane with instructions from a radio show. Unfortunately, his airplane has less longevity that his waffles did.


Donald Duck


Jack King
Don Towsley
Paul Allen
Bill Justice
Brad Case
Merle T. Cox
Ernie Nordli
Jack Hannah
Dick Shaw
Oliver Wallace


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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 J. D. Weil : The Plastics Inventor contains a hidden wartime reference in it. When the U.S. entered World War II, the government clamped restrictions on certain strategic materials, (i.e. steel, copper, lumber, etc.) and consumer manufacturers (those that were left) had to scramble to find suitable replacement materials. The plastics industry, still in its swaddling clothes, was suddenly placed in a position of prominence it was ill prepared to handle. The plastics that were produced during this period were weak, brittle, melted at the slightest change of temperature (though I never heard of a water soluble plastic as depicted in this cartoon) and gave the plastics industry a black eye that would take decades to remove. It also made them an easy target for ridicule, as this cartoon shows.
From Ryan : This is similar to the 1941 short Chef Donald. This time, however, Donald is "baking" an airplane instead of waffles. Like the waffles, Donald didn't have much luck with the airplane as it melted in the rain (plastic doesn't do that). This is one of my favorite Donald Duck shorts.
From Trae Robinson : Donald doesn't do much talking in this cartoon. I wonder why. Like The Flying Jalopy and A Good Time For A Dime Donald flies a airplane again in a cartoon.
From Andrew : I thank Mr. Weil for the history lesson. Like probably many people who only saw this cartoon on the Disney Channel (or YouTube), when I was little I used to think plastic could melt when wet thanks to this cartoon. Some great Daliesque imagery here, but even by cartoon standards, it seems a bit far-fetched compared to Donald's previous "simple" attempts to make waffles or work as a lumberjack.
From Baruch Weiss : Poor Donald, all that hard work gone to waste. I enjoyed this cartoon, especially when the plane melts Donald gets upset and melts the radio. I also noticed at the end presentation Mickey's theme was used instead of Donald's.
From JiruChan : Though it was made during the war time, I liked the idea that they had cherry blossoms in the short.

Referenced Comments