Poster

The Trial of Donald Duck

A Donald Duck Cartoon

Release Date : July 30, 1948

Running Time : 6:47

Synopsis

All Donald wants is a cup of coffee when he gets mixed up in a misunderstanding about the abnormally huge bill.

Characters

Donald Duck
Pierre, the Waiter

Credits

Director
Jack King
Animation
Edwin Aardal
Fred Kopietz
Paul Allen
Jack Boyd
Backgrounds
Merle T. Cox
Layout
Don Griffith
Story
Dan MacManus
Music
Oliver Wallace

Video

Germany
Alle Enten Fertig ... Los!
France
Donald Se Fache!
Italy
Vita da Paperi

Laserdiscs

Japan
Goin' Quackers

DVD

United States
Disney Treasures : Wave 7 : The Chronological Donald Volume 3
Germany
Disney Treasures : Wave 7 : The Chronological Donald Volume 3

Television

The Ink and Paint Club: Episode 45: More Donald
Mickey's Mouse Tracks: Episode 51
Donald's Quack Attack: Episode 8
The Mickey Mouse Club : December 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 Tom Wilkins : The second half of the 1940's has not been kind to Donald Duck. After being convicted of robbing his nephews' bank in the 1945 classic Donald's Crime, he's at it again, standing trial for being short on cash ... well, unfairly billed as you will read on.

The defendant describes the day of October 17th (enunciated Septober octeenth): Donald feeds the pigeons outside until it rains, then takes a lunchbreak in an exquisite French restaurant, the Cafe Chez Pierre. All Donald wants is a cup of coffee, and as he strolls in, Pierre greets him by removing his hat, making Donald relive the unfortunate circumstances he suffered in 1937's Modern Inventions. (Unbeknownst to Donald, he was already in hot water not noticing the $5 cover charge card on his table after flaunting the nickel he carried with him.) Pierre makes his suggestions in misunderstandable French but Donald still insisted on coffee, which he received...in a microscopically small cup. Needless to say, it did not take long for Donald to lose his cool.

As Donald beats up on Pierre, Pierre concedes to Donald's needs by going on his way to get a real coffee cup, but Donald continues to show his frustrations. Pierre counters in this ugly chess match by billing everything Donald brought in for lunch! This included his ham sandwich, which Pierre changed over to "on toast" when Donald places it on the candle's flame!

After Pierre bills Donald for an outrageous $35.99, Donald tells him that he dropped something, but after Pierre exclaims that it was the bill, Donald was clearly blown away. Pierre demands the money, which literally blew Donald away, since he only had a nickel. Donald loses his temper again and gets wrapped up in the tablecloth.

The defendant pleads to the judge that Donald was the victim, but the judge found Donald guilty and ordered him to either pay a $10 fine or spend 10 days washing dishes; otherwise he is off to the slammer. Donald chooses to wash dishes, coincidentally at the restaurant where all this happened!

Don't think Pierre got away with anything. Donald washes dishes while breaking half of them in the process, getting Pierre so unraveled that he pleaded for Donald to stop, plea bargaining to pay and/or feed him, but Donald insisted on giving out his own punishment: "You heard what the judge said! 10 days!"

The verdict on this cartoon? At least this was handled so much better than the Presidential scandal. (Don't even get me started on that.)


From Ryan : I absolutely love this short. Donald is in court and is telling the judge that he was outside in the park feeding some pigeons. As soon as it begins to rain, he goes into a fancy restaurant for a cup of coffee. I always find myself laughing at how Donald loses his temper with chef Pierre when he is given a tiny cup of coffee that, in my opinion, wouldn't even be worth a penny. Donald takes out his own food from his lunch box that he brought in. Chef Pierre decides to BILL DONALD FOR HIS OWN FOOD. This is how they wound up in court. I enjoy the ending of this short where Donald frantically washes the dishes of Pierre's restaurant in order to pay for the bill. He ends up breaking most of them.
From Baruch Weiss : This was the last cartoon directed by Jack King. Pierre is such a jerk for giving Donald a tiny cup of coffee (which is not worth a cent at all) and then charging Donald for his own food. Some restaurants don't allow outside food or beverages, but it's hard to see why Donald was billed for his own food. He probably was far from his house and decided to go somewhere nearby to eat his lunch.
From Abigail : I love this short! It's really neat, and if I was Donald, I would make sure to have enough money to pay my bill in a restaurant myself. Especially if it was $35.99, of course. In my opinion, Pierre definitely learned a good lesson the hard way--never mess with Donald Duck! And Donald learned a good lesson, too--always make sure to have enough money to pay a bill in a restaurant, and washing dishes for ten days doesn't sound too bad, either.
From J. P.Hope : I like it when Donald washes and breaks all of Pierre's dishes in mass anger, especially when Pierre tries to apologize by saying "PLEASE, I forgive you, but DON'T wash anymore dishes! I'll pay you! I'll - I'll feed you! anything!". but Donald, still offended by Pierre's rudeness, refuses the offer by angrily pointing out "YOU HEARD WHAT THE JUDGE SAID! 10 DAYS!" much to Pierre's shock when a startled Pierre gasps "NO! 10 MORE DAYS! WAAAH!" as Donald keeps breaking his Pierre's dishes.

Referenced Comments