Poster

Donald's Off Day

A Donald Duck Cartoon

Release Date : December 8, 1944

Running Time : 7:31

Synopsis

Donald's golf game is ruined by a sudden thunderstorm. While passing the time with a medical book, he quickly becomes hypochondriac (with a little help from his nephews.)

Characters

Donald Duck
Huey, Dewey and Louie

Credits

Video

United States
The Unsinkable Donald Duck with Huey, Dewey and Louie
Germany
Donald Ich bin der Grösste
Donald und die Entenbande
France
La Bande a Donald
Italy
Troppo Vento Per Winnie Puh
Paperino e la Sua Banda di Paperi

Laserdiscs

United States
A Tale of Two Chipmunks /The Unsinkable Donald Duck
Japan
Donald Duck and his Duckling Gang

DVD

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

Television

The Ink and Paint Club: Episode 34: Donald's Nephews
Mickey's Mouse Tracks: Episode 49

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 : 1944 ends with Donald Duck, which is fitting for what has been going on in the Disney shorts throughout the 40s. Donald eclipsed Mickey in popularity, and has begun to take over the central role in Disney shorts. To that end, he is now starring in shorts that have a little different twist, such as Donald’s Off Day.

This short plays well to Donald’s strengths, as it gives him a frustrating and difficult scenario, then piles on with the help of his nephews. However, it’s not the same sort of thing that was done earlier in Donald’s career, when the situation created the mounting frustration. There’s a different tactic here, as Donald’s anger doesn’t really build throughout.

The story begins with Donald eager to take on his day off by jumping out of bed and heading out to the golf course. We see him enthusiastically fixing breakfast, showering and doing all the regular morning activities while a bright, beautiful day shines outside. In typical Donald luck, however, the minute he steps outside, rain begins pouring down and ruins his chances for a golf outing.

With nothing else to do, Donald turns to books to entertain himself and ends up having quite the hypochondriac experience. He first looks and sees a “coated” tongue that could be a bad sign, not pausing to think that he just ate some licorice. When Huey, Dewey and Louie catch wind of what he’s doing, they decide to join in the fun, playing tricks on Donald to make him think he’s very, very sick.

All kinds of tricks take place in a short amount of time. The boys make Donald think he’s blind, then plant a squeaky rabbit under his blanket to make him think his heart is going. Donald even thinks that he’s about to die, and calls the boys over to say his last words.

It’s all rather disturbing to be honest, although it is funny. Donald pulls his will out of the safe on the wall and shows the boys that they will receive his prize golf clubs. It’s rather morbid, until Donald figures out what’s happening and comes after the boys. But, the sun shines through and he forgets about them, charging out to play golf. Only then does the sunshine break and lightning strike Donald.

Donald’s Off Day is sort of a schizophrenic short, not entirely about Donald’s golf day and not entirely about his perceived illness. It does manage to merge those two things rather well, though, and manages to be a nice Donald short, if not a great one.


From Ryan : I enjoyed this short, but it wasn't really one of my favorites. The scenes where Huey, Dewey, and Louie play tricks on Donald was quite funny. The part where Donald kept going outside only to discover that it was raining got rather tiring for me.
From Eric Irizarry : This cartoon was great, as almost all other Donald Cartoons.
From Baruch Weiss : This is the first cartoon directed by Jack Hannah. I thought that this short was ok. I wonder why Disney decided to get a voice for Donald that is hard for one watching his cartoons to understand.

Referenced Comments