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Director: Jack King
Release Date: February 11, 1938
Rating: ★★
Review:

Self Control © Walt DisneyIn ‘Self Control’ Donald Duck is relaxing in a hammock in his garden, listening to the radio.

On the radio some professor advises to keep your temper, an advice Donald Duck takes wholeheartedly. Unfortunately, when he tries to rest, this becomes very difficult, as he’s hindered by a fly, a caterpillar, a chicken and an obnoxious woodpecker. The cartoon ends with Donald Duck battering the radio to pieces.

‘Self Control’ is the first Donald Duck cartoon with the Duck as the average citizen battling everyday annoyances, a role he would play with gusto during the 1940s. Unfortunately, in ‘Self Control’ his annoyances are a little too outlandish to be really familiar.

Moreover, the cartoon suffers from a terrible slowness, rendering a surprisingly boring cartoon. It seems the studio was still struggling with the character in a solo outfit. Indeed, when coupled to strong adversaries, like his nephews in ‘Donald’s Nephews‘ from two months later, the result was much more explosive. The woodpecker would return in ‘Donald’s Camera’ (1941).

Watch ‘Self Control’ yourself and tell me what you think:

This is Donald Duck cartoon No. 2
To the previous Donald Duck cartoon: Donald’s Ostrich
To the next Donald Duck cartoon: Donald’s Better Self

‘Self Control’ is available on the DVD-set ‘The Chronological Donald Volume 1’

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Director: William Hanna & Joseph Barbera
Release Date: December 8, 1951
Stars: Tom & Jerry, Spike
Rating:
 ★★★½
Review:

Cat Napping © MGM‘Cat Napping’ is a blackout gag cartoon, in which Tom & Jerry are fighting over a hammock  on a hot summer day.

‘Cat Napping’ is certainly not among Tom & Jerry’s best cartoons. The gags are not all bad (the best one is when marching ants make the hammock resonate), but the comedy feels uninspired. Moreover, the story is less consistent than usual, and the gags are rather disjointed. However, the cartoon is especially hampered by rather appalling designs on Tom & Jerry, which are on the same low level as those in ‘His Mouse Friday’ from earlier that year.

http://www.metacafe.com/watch/9404702/tom_jerry_cat_napping/

This is Tom & Jerry cartoon No. 62
To the previous Tom & Jerry cartoon: Nit Witty Kitty
To the next Tom & Jerry cartoon: The Flying Cat

Director: Jack Kinney
Release Date: January 5, 1951
Stars: Goofy, the mountain lion
Rating: ★★★
Review:

Lion Down © Walt DisneyIn this short Goofy inhabits a house on the top floor of a large apartment block. He needs an extra tree for his hammock, so he fetches one from a forest nearby.

Unfortunately, he’s visited by the tree’s former owner, the mountain lion from the Donald Duck short ‘Lion Around‘ (1950), and together they fight over the hammock.

The gag routine is laid out well, involving many ringings of doorbells and falls from great heights, resulting in an extraordinarily long falling sequence. However, the comedy is hampered by irritating vocal sounds by both Goofy and the mountain lion, and by a slightly sloppy timing. This is too bad, for a possibly very funny cartoon now only becomes average.

In 1952 the mountain lion would reappear again in the Goofy short ‘Father’s Lion’.

Watch ‘Lion Down’ yourself and tell me what you think:

This is Goofy cartoon No. 27
To the previous Goofy cartoon: Hold That Pose
To the next Goofy cartoon: Home Made Home

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