Poster

Clown of the Jungle

A Donald Duck Cartoon

Release Date : June 20, 1947

Running Time : 6:19

Synopsis

As a photgrapher in the jungles of South America, Donald doesn't expect to come across the crazy Aracuan Bird, who more than fits his name as the "clown of the jungle."

Characters

Donald Duck
Aracuan Bird

Credits

Director
Jack Hannah
Animation
Bill Justice
Volus Jones
Hal King
Andy Engman
Backgrounds
Thelma Witmer
Layout
Yale Gracey
Story
Ray Patin
Payne Thebaut
Music
Oliver Wallace

Cut Scenes

Scenes showing the Aracuan Bird attemting suicide and Donald firing off a machine gun were cut.

Video

Germany
Happy Birthday, Donald!
France
La Joyeuse Menagerie
Italy
Video Parade 6
Le Avventure di Caccia del Prof. de Paperis
Cartoon Festival 1
Cartoons Disney 1

Laserdiscs

Japan
The Hunting Instinct
Donald's Birthday Bash
Donald and Goofy
All Star Cartoon Review

DVD

United States
Disney Treasures : Wave 7 : The Chronological Donald Volume 3
Whispers : An Elephant's Tale
Germany
Disney Treasures : Wave 7 : The Chronological Donald Volume 3

Television

Mickey's Mouse Tracks: Episode 54
Walt Disney Presents: Your Host, Donald Duck

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 : Walt’s South American trip was about more than just producing a couple of package features like Saludos Amigos or The Three Caballeros. The original goal was to establish a program of short subjects that would provide Disney with new characters. Some of these, like Pedro the airplane or the Flying Gauchito, never really took off. One, though, did manage to break through a little bit into the Disney canon.

The Aracuan is the crazy red headed bird that showed up first in The Three Caballeros. His crazy patter and wild nature was endearing there, so he was brought back for this short, Clown of the Jungle. The Aracuan appears on screen to break up the otherwise monotonous story of wild birds in South America. He shows up with a cigar, bounds around the screen and squeaks and coos to the viewer.

In many ways, his unbounded energy and chaotic attitude are the perfect foil for Donald Duck. Introducing Donald into the mix as a bird photographer gets things going, since he is looking for “serious” subjects while the Aracuan is there to only to interrupt and generally play. He sees Donald as an opportunity to enjoy himself and doesn’t take the duck too seriously.

Donald, though, is drop dead serious about his need to take great pictures, and the Aracuan isn’t having it. The antics are hysterical, because the Aracuan is unbound by the typical constraints that other Disney characters operate under. He can pop in and out of the screen with no logical progression, can defy the laws of physics and move any which way to make a gag work.

That makes him a wonderful character. All the other Disney characters are fairly conventional, and the ways the Aracuan acts drives Donald so insane that he ends up adopting these unconventional traits himself. It’s an amazing thing to behold, really. I know the Aracuan shows up again in other shorts and it’s no surprise why. He’s so much fun that I can just imagine animators eager to play with their medium using this fabulous little bird.


From Brad Bethel : This Disney classic had to be one of Jack Hannah's best cartoons under his supervision. It even had a title opening song previously reserved for Mickey Mouse. I especially enjoyed the scenes where the Aracuan Bird sings this wacky tune, and pops up repeatedly in the background. Throughout the cartoon, he also does whatever you may have learned from the Warner Bros.' Looney Tunes characters, preferably Daffy Duck. The Clown of the Jungle's insanity even winds up to the point where Donald Duck becomes a nutcase himself. A very interesting presentation for the Disney staff.
From Ryan : This is one of my favorite Donald Duck shorts. Donald is a bird photographer in the jungle who spots the crazy Aracuan Bird. There were quite a few fun gags I enjoyed such as the scene where the bird kept handing Donald the stones, causing Donald to build a small house. One scene that is not typical of a Disney short is where the Aracuan Bird paints a tunnel into a rock and Donald runs into it. This is more common in a WB short. One thing I noticed was when Donald is getting angry at the bird, he runs after him and shouts "Come here, ya doggone pest!" His incoherent voice made it sound as though he were swearing like it did in the 1937 short Clock Cleaners. I enjoy the ending of this short where Donald practically turns into the Aracuan bird himself, going crazy and shouting the Aracuan Bird's phrase.
From Baruch Weiss : Photographer Donald is continually annoyed and driven up a wall by a crazy Aracuan bird. This short was unusual for Disney; the gags of this cartoon make it look like it was directed by one of the directors from the WB studios like Chuck Jones or Friz Freling.
From Martin : Does anybody out there know what the Mexican folk song is called, which the aracuan bird's song is 'sampled' from? I've read somewhere that it's called either 'lilongo', 'lolingo', or maybe 'gorilongo', but I can't find it anywhere. It would be interesting to hear the whole song! Yes, it's actually a 'real' song - try slowing the song/sound down to half the speed, and you'll hear a part of it. Yep, the "arapapa..."-sound.
From Mike : This is a very funny cartoon. The Clown of the Jungle is a very funny character. His song is hilarious, and the gags work on every level.

Referenced Comments