Director: Jack Hannah
Date: June 20 1947
Stars: Donald Duck, The Aracuan Bird
‘Clown of the Jungle’ reintroduces the Aracuan bird from ‘The Three Caballeros‘ (1944), now hindering Donald’s attempts to photograph birds.
The Aracuan bird is a surreal character, defying all laws of nature. For example, it can cycle in mid-air, duplicate itself and draw a door on a rock, and enter it. These abilities are very rare for a Disney character, and there’s no doubt that the Aracuan bird was inspired by the more absurd humor from the Warner Brothers and Tex Avery’s MGM cartoons.
Director Jack Hannah handles this type of humor remarkably well, delivering the gags in a fast pace and with an excellent timing, making ‘Clown of the Jungle’ not only the most surreal, but also one of the wildest and funniest Disney cartoons from the postwar era.
Being such a wonderful character, The Aracuan bird would return once more the following year, in the sequence ‘Blame it on the Samba‘ from ‘Melody Time‘ (1948). Unfortunately, the character remained alone in its zaniness within the Disney canon, and other Disney postwar cartoons remained much more conventional.
Watch ‘Clown of the Jungle’ yourself and tell me what you think: