Poster

Old Sequoia

A Donald Duck Cartoon

Release Date : December 21, 1945

Running Time : 6:45

Synopsis

Park Ranger Donald (Agent # 13) is in charge of making sure a tree "Old Sequoia" doesn't get gnawed down by beavers.

Characters

Donald Duck

Credits

Director
Jack King
Animation
Bill Justice
Don Towsley
Paul Allen
John Meador
Backgrounds
Merle T. Cox
Layout
Ernie Nordli
Story
Homer Brightman
Music
Oliver Wallace

Cut Scenes

A scene showing Donald pointing his gun at the beavers has been snipped out.

Video

United States
Cartoon Classics : First Series : Volume 11 : The Continuing Adventures of Chip 'n' Dale
Germany
Donald 50 Verrückte Jahre
France
Bon Anniversaire Donald
Italy
I 50 Anni Folli di Paperino

CED

United States
Disney Cartoon Parade Volume 1

Laserdiscs

Japan
Donald Duck's 50 Crazy Years

DVD

United States
Disney Treasures : Wave 5 : The Chronological Donald Volume 2
Classic Cartoon Favorites : Volume 7 : Extreme Adventure Fun
Germany
Disney Treasures : Wave 5 : The Chronological Donald Volume 2
Abenteur Spass Superstars
Canada
Classic Cartoon Favorites : Volume 7 : Extreme Adventure Fun

Television

Mickey's Mouse Tracks: Episode 34
Donald's Quack Attack: Episode 37
The Mickey Mouse Club : November 12, 1956

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 are some situations that work for Donald Duck without fail. Finding new ways for Donald to get frustrated or put upon is the job of the story team at Disney, and in Old Sequoia, they find one that is unique, yet somewhat familiar. They also use repeat ideas from earlier shorts to make something a little new.

Setting up the premise of the short could have been a simple affair. Donald is trying to protect a treasured tree, Old Sequoia, from a pair of beavers who are eating and knocking over every tree in sight. Instead of simply taking Donald’s custodial duties as fact, though, we are introduced to them through a ringing phone that badgers Donald into submission.

The idea of Donald being yelled at by an electronic device, be it a radio or robot is not new, but here we get the added benefit of it being his boss. Then we get the ticking time bomb of the beavers attacking the tree and the boss ordering him to answer the phone. There’s no possible way he can do both, and that makes things all the more interesting.

What makes me laugh so hard in this short is the treatment of the beavers versus the ringing phone. The beavers are not particularly menacing, although they do end up accomplishing their goal. Instead, Donald might have been able to fend them off if not for his boss calling all the time.

I have no way of knowing whether the phone device was the Disney artists commenting on the craziness of the corporate world or bosses in general, but it sure seems like it. The ringing phone takes the idea of a relatively simple Donald short and elevates it to something that is quite funny. On top of that, there’s some great visual gags that elevate the short even more.

Little visual gags throughout the short are simply fantastic. When the beavers succeed in chewing out the tree, Donald props it up with branches and sticks, then puts the bark back on the outside. Truly a funny bit, but topped by the falling of the tree, when the leaves form a hand of sorts to take Donald and his park ranger shack over the top of a cliff.

When Donald ends up underwater, steaming mad, you see his frustrations boil over after the phone rings and his boss fires him. Normally, I would pick on a Donald short when his anger doesn’t show up more often, but the set up here is perfect. Here’s a reason to delay, and it comes through perfectly here. Old Sequoia is a great short that shows some versatility to the old Donald Duck formula.


From Ryan : In this short, Donald portrays a forest ranger who has to keep an eye on the oldest redwood in the park, Old Sequoia. There are two beavers in this short who are quite similar to Chip and Dale only not as obnoxious. I enjoy the part at the end where Donald falls into the water after trying to save Old Sequoia. Donald gets a call from his boss while underwater and is fired. He then starts throwing his typical tantrum. I love this short and recommend it to all Disney fans.
From Dino Cencia : This Donald Duck cartoon is funny! I love Old Sequoia! One day, Donald is sleeping when the phone rings and it's his boss on the phone. (His boss sounds just like Pete.) His boss tells Donald that he's losing too many trees in his district. But, he tells him if Old Sequoia goes, you go! So Donald sees two beavers cutting down the last next to the Old Sequoia. (I did notice the beavers looked like and sounded like Chip and Dale.) So Donald gets his gun and is trying to catch the beavers from cutting down Old Sequoia. The funny part is when Donald put all the sawdust back into the tree and it exploded and it was about to Timber! So Donald fixed the tree by stacking with wood and putting the "Old Sequoia" sign back on the tree. "You're okay now, Old Sequoia!" Donald says. Then the phone is ringing and it's his boss calling saying "How's Old Sequoia coming?" Donald: "She's coming fine." Then Old Sequoia is falling down taking Donald's house and falling into the water! (splash!) Then Donald gets a call from his boss while underwater and he says "You're fired!" And Donald's mad and makes bubbles come out his mouth when he's quacks mad. Maybe I'll go and see Old Sequoia in California and look at the tree and see how it looks in sunny California. I give this cartoon a 100.
From Baruch Weiss : Poor Donald. There's always something to screw up his life!
From Bryan Hensley : I'm sure beavers make good "timber pirates" as Donald put them, but they sounded an awful lot like Chip 'n' Dale. Their first short with Donald wouldn't be until 1947. It sure was an "inside job" by the beavers chewing down Old Sequoia, and Donald tried desperately to get all the wood chips back inside of her. Once Donald's machine puts all the wood chips back in, BOOM! She hung on by a thread, quite literally. So much for Old Sequoia being okay, she fell down and took Donald and his station with him! His boss was sure giving Donald a hard time! Once inside the river, the phone gurgled "You're fired!" and Donald was angry. Talk about "damming the river!" (With Old Sequoia and Donald's temper in it, that is!) This short made its DVD debut in volume 7 of Disney's Classic Cartoon Favorites collection (titled Extreme Adventure Fun). I hope lots of folks still enjoy this one!

Referenced Comments