Poster

Dumbell of the Yukon

A Donald Duck Cartoon

Release Date : August 30, 1946

Running Time : 6:34

Synopsis

Donald heads to the Yukon Territory to hunt up a fur coat for Daisy.

Characters

Donald Duck
Daisy Duck
Baby Bear
Bear (II)

Credits

Director
Jack King
Animation
Don Towsley
Edwin Aardal
Fred Kopietz
Sandy Strother
Backgrounds
Ernie Nordli
Layout
Ernie Nordli
Story
Harry Reeves
Homer Brightman
Music
Oliver Wallace

Cut Scenes

A scene showing a hanging Donald was snipped out.

Video

United States
Cartoon Classics : Limited Gold Editions I : Daisy
Italy
Il Meglio di Disney
Cartoon Classics : Limited Gold Editions I : Il Meglio Di Disney

CED

United States
Limited Gold Editions - Daisy

Laserdiscs

Japan
Daisy : Limited Gold Edition
All Star Cartoon Review

DVD

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

Television

Mickey's Mouse Tracks: Episode 29
Donald's Quack Attack: Episode 2
The Mickey Mouse Club : November 27, 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 : Donald Duck the hunter is just a fun concept. It’s the reason why we see him feuding with Chip and Dale so often, and why Dumbell of the Yukon is so fun. In this short, Donald shows his true motivations very clearly, and provides us with a lot of comedy in the meantime.

In this case the action is driven by the fact that Donald needs to get Daisy a fur coat. That drives him to head out into the wild, gun in hand, in search of a bear. Seeing him in this light is amusing, because we’ve grown to know Donald as a bit of a bumbler. Certainly not on the Goofy level, but Donald’s not exactly known for his physical prowess.

Donald finds a baby bear easily, then pulls off an Indiana Jones style maneuver to wrest the baby from its mother’s arms. Anyone can see where this might be headed, but the journey is the fun part. When Donald gets the baby bear back into his cabin, we see him visualizing Daisy in his mind, wearing the skin of the bear. This could be a creepy segment, considering the cute design of the bear, but it’s pulled off very well.

The issue comes when Donald tries to shoot the bear. Try as he might, there’s no real sense of danger for the little bear. Donald is brandishing the gun and doesn’t shoot and ends up trying all sorts of weird ways to attempt the dirty deed. It’s a fun little sequence because the bear just looks at him in a cute way and doesn’t understand.

That makes this work so well. The psychology of seeing the innocent bear pitted against the “evil” Donald lets us enjoy the fact that our hero is getting thwarted at every turn. After all, we don’t want the cute little bear to get hurt, but we’ve been trained by watching Donald to root for the world’s angriest duck.

Where I found the most fun in Dumbell of the Yukon, though, was when the baby bear’s mother woke up. While the baby bear escapes, the mother comes looking, and Donald has to fill those shoes to keep the mother’s rage at bay. Seeing Donald snuggle up to the mother bear is my favorite part, because it reveals Donald’s other motivation – survival. Throughout his career Donald adapts to his surroundings to survive, no matter what it takes. Dumbell of the Yukon demonstrates that with hilarious results.


From Jesus Daprice : This was a great short to watch, but I don't know how much an animal activist will enjoy it. It might make them a little upset.
From Ryan : I find this short to be quite humorous. Donald captures a bear cub and takes it to his cabin so that he can make a fur coat for Daisy. Daisy's only appearance in this short is when Donald imagines the bear cub as Daisy with her new fur coat. He then kisses the imaginary Daisy. The cub pushes him aside and starts spitting. When I was a kid, it made me a little nervous (not in a bad way) when the mother bear followed Donald's tracks over to his cabin to retrieve her baby. When shown on TV, this short is missing a scene with Donald choking on the trap he made for the bear cub. The following scene is not censored: Donald cuts up a fur coat and disguises himself as the bear cub when the mother has entered the cabin. He then shouts "Mammy!" in an African-American stereotype pose. I don't understand why the scene with Donald choking was censored. I mean, small children aren't going to start choking themselves. Many of these edits don't make any sense to me at all.
From Baruch Weiss : Donald sure went to a lot of trouble to get into trouble; he should have just gone to Nordstroms to get a fur coat, but then the cartoon might have been boring. Isn't it odd that on TV a scene showing a hanging Donald was snipped out, but not when he shouts "MAMMY!" in an African American stereotype pose nor the scene where he's thinking of different methods to kill the bear? These edits don't make any sense to me either!
From Matthew Cooper : I agree