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Director: Jack King
Release Date: June 7, 1940
Stars: Donald Duck, Daisy Duck, Huey, Dewey and Louie
Rating:  ★★★★½
Review:

Mr. Duck Steps Out © Walt Disney‘Mr. Duck Steps Out’ opens with Donald Duck preparing to visit his love interest, Daisy Duck.

To Donald’s dismay, his nephews want to go too, and the kid trio seriously hampers his courting efforts. Even sending them off to get some ice cream doesn’t help. Nevertheless, when Huey, Dewey and Louie make Donald swallow a popping corn, Donald’s dance moves become so hot, he quickly wins Daisy over. Thus, in the end, the exhausted duck is smothered in kisses.

‘Mr. Duck Steps Out’ is a clear cartoon of the swing era, and we watch all ducks trucking and doing the lindy hop to the swinging music. The Disney composers weren’t capable of making real jazz, however, and the music remains rather tame when compared to the big bands of the era. It’s a pity, because the animation on Donald and Daisy dancing, and on the nephews are playing the music is marvelous, and certainly hotter than the music accompanying it.

‘Mr. Duck Steps Out’ is noteworthy for marking the debut of Donald’s long lasting girlfriend, Daisy Duck, Donald’s second love interest after Donna Duck had disappeared into the distance on her unicycle in ‘Don Donald‘ (1937). On the screen, Daisy remained a minor character, only appearing in ten more Donald Duck cartoons. However, she would become a regular in Al Taliaferro’s daily strip, making her debut on 4 November 1940, first as Donald’s new neighbor. Later, Carl Barks, too, made regular use of this character. In both comic strips Daisy’s appearance remained largely the same as in this cartoon.

Watch ‘Mr. Duck Steps Out’ yourself and tell me what you think:

This is Donald Duck cartoon No. 17
To the previous Donald Duck cartoon: Donald’s Dog Laundry
To the next Donald Duck cartoon: Put-Put Troubles

‘Mr. Duck Steps Out’ is available on the DVD set ‘The Chronological Donald Volume 1’

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Director: Jack Hannah
Release Date: March 24, 1950
Stars: Donald Duck, Chip ‘n’ Dale, Daisy Duck, cameos by Goofy, Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse
Rating: ★★★
Review:

Crazy over Daisy © Walt DisneyDespite its name and title song ‘Crazy over Daisy’ is a surprisingly typical Donald Duck vs. Chip ‘n’ Dale cartoon.

In fact, it hardly features Daisy, at all. And when Daisy finally does show up, she takes the chipmunks in, leaving Donald outside. Yet, we do see Donald being crazy over Daisy, cycling to her on his velocipede… Yes, you read this right: Donald is riding a velocipede, because this cartoon is set in the 1890s. Its opening scene even feels like a copy of the opening scene of the 1941 Mickey Mouse cartoon ‘The Nifty Nineties’, complete with cameos of Goofy, and Mickey and Minnie (in the same car as they drove in the earlier cartoon).

Apart from the typical bicycle, it’s unclear why this cartoon is set in this period. The interplay between Donald and the two chipmunks could have taken place in any era. The most interesting fact about ‘Crazy over Daisy’ is that it contains an animated background scene, rarely seen since the early 1930s.

Watch ‘Crazy over Daisy’ yourself and tell me what you think:

This is Donald Duck cartoon No. 84
To the previous Donald Duck cartoon: Lion Around
To the next Donald Duck cartoon: Trailer Horn

Director: Jack Kinney
Release Date: March 5, 1954
Stars: Donald Duck, Daisy Duck, Huey, Dewey and Louie
Rating: ★★★★
Review:

Donald's Diary © Walt DisneyIn this strange and original cartoon Donald is a bachelor in San Francisco during the 1920s, who falls in love with Daisy, but who flees from the prospect of marriage, after having a horrible nightmare.

Like Mickey in ‘Mickey’s Nightmare‘ (1932), Donald has a rather distorted view of married life. While Mickey was haunted by hundreds of little kids, Donald’s fear is virtual slavery.

This short is narrated by an eloquent voice over (reminiscent of Donald’s dream voice in the cartoon of the same name from 1948), supposedly Donald’s ‘written’ voice. Most of the gags originate in the contrast between what’s being said and what the viewer sees.

‘Donald’s Diary’ is a very atypical Donald Duck cartoon. Maybe because it was not directed by his regular director Jack Hannah, but by Jack Kinney, whose own Goofy series had stopped the previous year. The short uses strong and beautiful 1950s backgrounds, more angular animation, and a very different design of Daisy. Moreover, Huey, Dewey and Louie are not Donald’s nephews here, but Daisy’s little brothers.

‘Donald’s Diary’ was the fourth of five Donald Duck cartoons Jack Kinney directed. In it he reused some animation from his first Donald Duck cartoon, ‘Der Fuehrer’s Face‘ from 1943.

Watch ‘Donald’s Diary’ yourself and tell me what you think:

This is Donald Duck cartoon No. 105
To the previous Donald Duck cartoon: Spare the Rod
To the next Donald Duck cartoon: Dragon Around

Director: Jack Hannah
Release Date: May 21, 1948
Stars: Donald Duck, Daisy Duck
Rating: ★★
Review:

Donald's Dream Voice © Walt DisneyDonald is a travelling salesman trying to sell brushes, but nobody understands him.

He then discovers Ajax voice pills, which give him a smooth voice. Soon he sells all his brushes, and he dreams of asking Daisy to marry him, but the pills only work for a short while and soon only one is left…

Like ‘Donald’s Dilemma‘ from 1947, ‘Donald’s Dream Voice’ is built on a strong idea around Donald’s voice. Unfortunately, in both cartoons the idea is funnier than the execution. In ‘Donald’s Dream Voice’ much time is wasted on Donald trying to retrieve his last pill.

Watch ‘Donald’s Dream Voice’ yourself and tell me what you think:

This is Donald Duck cartoon No. 69
To the previous Donald Duck cartoon: Daddy Duck
To the next Donald Duck cartoon: The Trial of Donald Duck

Director: Jack King
Release Date: July 11 1947
Stars: Donald Duck, Daisy Duck
Rating: ★★
Review:

Donald's Dilemma © Walt DisneyDaisy tells an off-screen psychiatrist that a flower pot has changed her boyfriend Donald into a crooner with a beautiful, Frank Sinatra-like voice.

We hear Donald singing ‘When You Wish Upon a Star’ from ‘Pinocchio‘ (1940), and watch him becoming world famous instantly. Unfortunately he forgets about Daisy’s existence, as well.

This cartoon is actually about Daisy, who for the first time gets star billing. Despite its great premise, the cartoon is hampered by Daisy’s jabbering voice over, its sparsity of gags and an all too predictable finale. Like Donald’s other voice cartoon, ‘Donald’s Dream Voice‘ (1948), the idea is way stronger than the execution.

Watch ‘Donald’s Dilemma’ yourself and tell me what you think:

This is Donald Duck cartoon No. 63
To the previous Donald Duck cartoon: Clown of the Jungle
To the next Donald Duck cartoon: Bootle Beetle

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