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Director: Jack Hannah
Release Date: October 14, 1949
Stars: Donald Duck,  Bootle Beetle
Rating:
Review:

The Greener Yard © Walt Disney‘The Greener Yard’ is the third cartoon starring the annoyingly unfunny Bootle Beetle.

In this short there are in fact two Bootle Beetles: an older one and his son, who doesn’t like to eat beans and who longs for greener pastures. But the older Bootle Beetle tells him how the grass always looks greener at the other side, but isn’t. He apparently has learned this lesson in Donald’s garden, where is given a hard time by Donald, his chickens and two bluebirds.

‘The Greener Yard’ is slow, boring and moralistic, and forms a low point in Donald Duck’s canon. Luckily, it was the last Donald Duck short to feature this boring insect. Nevertheless, the elderly Bootle Beetle and his younger counterpart would return to the screen one last time, in ‘Morris, the Midget Moose‘ (1950).

Watch ‘The Greener Yard’ yourself and tell me what you think:

This is Donald Duck cartoon No. 80
To the previous Donald Duck cartoon: All in a Nutshell
To the next Donald Duck cartoon: Slide, Donald, Slide

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Director: Jack Hannah
Release Date: April 8, 1949
Stars: Donald Duck, Bootle Beetle
Rating:
Review:

Sea Salts © Walt DisneyBootle Beetle, introduced in ‘Bootle Beetle‘ from 1947, returns to tell us about his relationship with ‘the captain’, and old seafaring version of Donald Duck. He relates how he and ‘the captain’ were shipwrecked and stranded on a desert island.

Bootle Beetle never was a funny character, and this cartoon, too, suffers: Bootle beetle is simply too cute. Moreover, his relationship to Donald is never explained, nor the fact why Donald is suddenly a captain. To make things worse, the cartoon is painstakingly slow. For example, it contains a very long gag on a coconut, unfavorably reminiscent of the overlong gags of the earliest character animation-based cartoons of the mid-1930’s, like ‘Mickey Plays Papa‘ (1934) or ‘Moving Day‘ (1936).

Watch ‘Sea Salts’ yourself and tell me what you think:

This is Donald Duck cartoon No. 76
To the previous Donald Duck cartoon: Donald’s Happy Birthday
To the next Donald Duck cartoon: Winter Storage

Director: Jack Hannah
Release Date: August 22, 1947
Stars: Donald Duck, Bootle Beetle
Rating: ★★★
Review:

Bootle Beetle © Walt DisneyIn the postwar era Jack Hannah introduced three adversaries of Donald Duck: Bootle Beetle, Chip ‘n Dale*, and a little bee. Bootle Beetle, a little insect, was the first and surely the cutest of the lot.

In his first film Bootle Beetle, who resembles Jiminy Cricket a little, is introduced here as a rare species. In fact, we’re watching two Bootle Beetles, with the elderly one telling a younger one about his meeting with bug collector Donald Duck, who, in some scenes, is depicted as an enormous giant. These scenes with a humongous Donald are the highlights of a cute and gently cartoon, which is unfortunately low on gags.

Bootle Beetle would return in two 1949 Donald Duck cartoons, ‘Sea Salts‘  and ‘The Greener Yard‘. The little insect never became funny, and Hannah dropped him as Donald’s adversary after these three cartoons. His last role was as a narrator in ‘Morris, the Midget Moose‘ (1950).

Watch ‘Bootle Beetle’ yourself and tell me what you think:

This is Donald Duck cartoon No. 64
To the previous Donald Duck cartoon: Donald’s Dilemma
To the next Donald Duck cartoon: Wide Open Spaces

* Chip ‘n Dale actually made their debut in the war short ‘Private Pluto‘ (1943), directed by Clyde Geronimi, but it was Hannah who turned the two chipmunks into two different characters and made them opponents of Donald Duck.

Director: Jack Hannah
Release Date: November 24, 1950
Stars: Bootle Beetle
Rating: ★★
Review:

Morris, the Midget Moose © Walt Disney‘Morris, the Midget Moose’ starts with an eldery bootle beetle who tells two young bootle beetles the short’s story.

The beetle tells us about Morris, a very small moose with normal antlers who befriends Balsam, a moose with small antlers. They’re both outcasts, but together they defeat the reigning moose, the invincible Thunderclap.

This moralistic story is very sweet, but also slow and boring. It reuses a gag from ‘Moose Hunters’ (1937) of moose throwing each other on the ground, affecting the complete landscape, but the gag is executed less elaborately, and with less funny results.

‘Morris, the Midget Moose’ was the only cartoon featuring Bootle Beetle outside Jack Hannah’s Donald Duck series. It was also the little insect’s last appearance on the movie screen.

Watch ‘Morris, the Midget Moose’ yourself and tell me what you think:

‘Morris, the Midget Moose’ is available on the DVD ‘Walt Disney Treasures: Disney Rarities’

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