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

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

Director: Dick Lundy
Release Date: 
July 12, 1942
Stars: Donald Duck
Rating: ★★

Donald's Garden © Walt DisneyIn ‘Donald’s Garden’ Donald is a gardener, wearing a straw hat. We watch him having trouble with a water pump and with a gopher, which eats all his vegetables.

‘Donald’s Garden’ is a slow and boring cartoon. It’s hampered by particularly uninspired backgrounds, and it is one of the weaker entries in the Donald Duck series.

It has the same structure as ‘The Village Smithy‘ from earlier that year: it consists of only two situation gags: one with an inanimate object (the pump), and one with an animal (the gopher). Apparently, director Dick Lundy favored these types of gags, for they returned in ‘Donald’s Goldmine’, and in ‘Donald’s Tire Trouble‘, Lundy’s only successful cartoon in terms of situation comedy.

‘Donald’s Garden’ is the first Disney cartoon trying to be funny with gophers. But like the later Pluto shorts ‘Bone Bandit‘ (1948) and ‘Pluto and the Gopher‘ (1950), the studio doesn’t succeed. One may wonder whether gophers are funny, at all.

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

This is Donald Duck cartoon No. 33
To the previous Donald Duck cartoon: Donald Gets Drafted
To the next Donald Duck cartoon: Donald’s Gold Mine

Director: Hawley Pratt
Release Date: April 26, 1967
Stars: The Pink Panther, The Little Guy
Rating: ★★★★

Pink Posies © DePatie-Freleng‘Pink Posies’ could be summarized as ‘The Pink Phink‘ set in a garden: this time the little guy is a gardener planting yellow flowers, while the Pink Panther replaces them for pink ones.

Most of the gags are variations on those in ‘The Pink Phink’, which make this cartoon a very enjoyable one, even though it’s not very original. The designs of this cartoon are also attractive, the very stylized trees in the background in particular.

Watch ‘Pink Posies’ yourself and tell me what you think:


‘Pink Posies’ is available on the DVD Box set ‘The Pink Panther Cartoon Collection’

Director: Wilfred Jackson
Release Date: July 13, 1935
Stars: Mickey Mouse, Pluto
Rating: ★★★★

Mickey's Garden © Walt Disney‘Mickey’s Garden’ is Mickey’s second color cartoon (after ‘The Band Concert‘).

It’s also Pluto’s first: he passes the transition into color fluently, getting his typical orange color we’re all familiar with now.

Mickey and Pluto are in the garden trying to kill a number of insects eating Mickey’s crop. When Mickey accidentally sprays himself with bug poison he starts to hallucinate (the transition to the dreamworld is particularly psychedelic: everything, including the background becomes unsteady and wobbly). He dreams that all plants and bugs have grown. This leads to some imaginative scenes. The bugs are not very lifelike, though. The animators even make a weird mistake by giving a particularly evil-looking beetle eight legs instead of six.

Watch ‘Mickey’s Garden’ yourself and tell me what you think:

This is Mickey Mouse cartoon No. 76
To the previous Mickey Mouse cartoon: Mickey’s Kangaroo
To the next Mickey Mouse cartoon: Mickey’s Fire Brigade

Director: Burt Gillett
Release Date: November 25, 1931
Stars: Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Pluto
Rating: ★★★½

Mickey Cuts Up © Walt Disney‘Mickey Cuts Up’ can be summarized as ‘Mickey Steps Out’ set in a garden.

The first part of the cartoon consists of a quite tiring song-and-dance-routine (with Mickey dancing as a turtle as a minor highlight). Like in ‘Mickey Steps Out’ there’s some whistling with the birds, with Mickey impersonating one. Later the two perform the 1921 hit song ‘Ain’t We Got Fun’ on harmonicas.

Only after five minutes, the second part starts. This hilarious sequence is devoted to Pluto chasing a cat and causing havoc, just like he did in ‘Mickey Steps Out’. The contrast with the first half couldn’t be greater: suddenly the gags come fast and plenty. There’s even an early running gag in which Mickey gets wet in various ways. The second half is of a stunning speed, and a real tour de force in its string of gags leading to other gags, and to the grand finale. This half makes the cartoon a stand out of the era, and one that looks forward to things to come.

Watch ‘Mickey Cuts Up’ yourself and tell me what you think:

This is Mickey Mouse cartoon No. 35
To the previous Mickey Mouse cartoon: The Beach Party
To the next Mickey Mouse cartoon: Mickey’s Orphans

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