Poster

Duck Pimples

A Donald Duck Cartoon

Release Date : August 10, 1945

Running Time : 7:44

Synopsis

Donald's over-active imagination is inspired by scary stories on the radio and in books.

Characters

Donald Duck
Salesman (unnamed)
Dopey Dave
Paddy the Cop (aka H. U. Hennesy)
Colleen
Leslie J. Clarke
J. Harold King

Credits

Director
Jack Kinney
Animation
Andy Engman
Hal King
John Sibley
Milt Kahl
Backgrounds
Nino Carbe
Layout
Don da Gradi
Story
Virgil ("VIP") Partch
Dick Shaw
Music
Oliver Wallace

Inside Jokes

H. U. Hennesy is a play on the name of Disney artist Hugh Hennesy. J. Harold King most likely refers to director Jack King. Leslie J. Clarke is a play on the name of Disney artist Les Clarke.

Cut Scenes

Scenes where Donald is threatened with a knife and the cop is threatened with an axe have been cut.

Video

United States
Donald's Scary Tales
Cartoon Classics : First Series : Volume 3 : Scary Tales
Germany
Lachkonzert in Entenhausen
France
Si Disney m'etait Conte
Disney Parade 4
Italy
Paparino Disastri in Cucina
Paperino un Disastro di Eroe
Paperino e i Racconti Misteriosi

CED

United States
Cartoon Classics - Scary Tales

Laserdiscs

Donald Scary Tales / Halloween Haunts
Cartoon Classics : Scary Tales
Japan
Disney Cartoon Festival Volume 4
Scary Tales

DVD

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

Television

The Ink and Paint Club: Episode 45: More Donald
Donald's Quack Attack: Episode 5
The Mickey Mouse Club : February 15, 1957

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 : There is a mold to Disney shorts that usually follows the traits of the characters. The Mickey shorts feature a good natured Mickey having a good time with some occasional complications. The Goofy shorts have him attempting some sport or endeavor with a narrator. Donald’s short inevitably have him trying to do something too grand or too wrong and getting frustrated.

So when something breaks that mold, it’s noteworthy. Duck Pimples is one that shatters the mold, and does it very, very well. The short manages to take Donald and stick him in a very unfamiliar situation, as well as taking him out of reality and placing him in a sort of dream world. The comedy flies fast and furious, and if you blink, you’ll miss some small detail or bit of fun that the animators placed in this short.

Donald is sitting by the radio one night when he decides to turn off the light to relax. Unfortunately for him, the radio dramas that night are decidedly not relaxed. Instead of calm music or romance, all Donald hears is mystery and murder. He even envisions a giant ape from one of the stories right behind him. It gets even worse when a raincoat clad man shows up at the door and leaves a pile of mystery and crime books on Donald’s floor.

The silliness escalates with the characters from the books climbing out of the books and carrying on with Donald. They go back and forth with accusing Donald of committing crimes, stealing from them and even kidnapping a woman who is standing in the corner. If it sounds silly, that’s because it is. It feels so much more like a Looney Tunes short than a Disney one.

The stereotypes are in full effect here, but to great comedic value. You have the Irish cop who badgers Donald to death, eats “donuts” and turns out to be corrupt in the end. There’s the sleek, sophisticated woman who’s probably hiding something herself, and who ends up playing the cop for a fool. Of course, there’s also the bookish, nerdy author who shows up to resolve everything.

The short really plays as a tribute to film noir, one of my favorite genres. During the 1940s, film noir was in its heyday, with fabulous films being released by major studios with some of the biggest stars. This short puts a zany, Disney twist on it, and comes away with something special. It allows us to see Donald on a roller coaster ride that is truly enjoyable to watch.


From Elizabeth Penrose : Like Hockey Homicide and other shorts from this year and later, this shows a Warner Brothers-style of gags: hard-edged and going for the punchline. This short isn't as effective as Hockey Homicide. Donald's passive character -- he's almost a punching-bag for the detective -- goes against everything we know about him. Compared to the fast-moving, vivid characters that pop out of his book, he's dull and faint.
From Ryan : This is absolutely one of my favorite Donald Duck shorts. I enjoy all the humorous scene with those odd-looking characters. As Elizabeth Penrose pointed out, it seems similar to a Warner Brothers cartoon for some reason.
From Ted : Probably the most surreal Disney cartoon ever!! Rapid pacing and full of goofy details you catch with repeated viewings. By the way, the character voices on the radio sequence are supplied by an uncredited Doodles Weaver. The detective is played by Billy Bletcher, better known for his characters Big Bad Wolf, and Black Pete.
From Jennifer : Am I the only one, or does the character Colleen seem like maybe she was the 'original' Jessica Simpson?
From Baruch Weiss : I first saw this Cartoon on "Donald's Scary Tales." I now have it on "The Chronoligical Donald: Volume 2" where Leonard Maltin explains that the title is a play on the phrase "Goose Pimples." In fact, look at the title card and you'll see the word "Goose" crossed out and "Duck" in place of it! Anyway, this sure was a scary short for Disney. As mentioned before it's similar to a Warner Bros. Cartoon and I agree!
From Trae Robinson : This is the only cartoon where Donald doesn't lose his temper. In this cartoon, Donald seemed rather scared than angry. That's not the Donald we know.
From Benson : Just a note: Storyman Virgil Partch ("VIP") went on to considerable success as a magazine cartoonist and wrote a newspaper comic, "Big George." The creepy salesman at the beginning of Duck Pimples is clearly a "VIP" design -- especially when he's just standing in the door -- although the other characters are have a more familiar Disney look.

Referenced Comments