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Director: Jack Hannah
Release Date:
 March 8, 1946
Stars:
 
Goofy
Rating: ★★★★★
Review:

A Knight For A Day © Walt Disney‘A Knight for a Day’ is one of four Goofy cartoons directed by Jack Hannah, while Goofy’s usual director, Jack Kinney, was busy working on feature films ‘Make Mine Music’ and ‘Fun and Fancy Free‘.

Hannah, who shares Kinney’s love for fast and nonsensical cartoons, adopts the use of a jabbering sports reporter-like voice over, but applies it to a medieval setting, with hilarious results. Unlike Kinney’s Goofy cartoons however, Hannah’s cartoon consists of a real story with identifiable characters, splitting Goofy’s personality into various different ones.

During a medieval tournament, Cedric, a young squire, has to replace his master, Sir Loinsteak, when he falls with his head on an anvil, blocking him out. He has to face the champion, Sir Cumference, an evil opponent, who rides a black horse, smokes cigars and has a shield of bricks. Cedric wins the tournament, however, earning kisses from the ‘beautiful’ princess Esmeralda, who is another Goofy-like character.

‘A Knight for a Day’ is a fast and fervid cartoon, which is over before you know it.

Watch ‘A Knight for a Day’ yourself and tell me what you think:

This is Goofy cartoon No. 18
To the previous Goofy cartoon: Hockey Homicide
To the next Goofy cartoon: Double Dribble

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Director: Jack Hannah
Release Date:
November 1, 1946
Stars: 
Donald Duck, Goofy
Rating:
 ★★½
Review:

Frank Duck Brings 'Em Back Alive © Walt Disney‘Frank Duck Brings ‘Em Back Alive’ is the fourth of five cartoons starring both Donald and Goofy. The coupling never was really successful, and ‘Frank Duck Brings ‘Em Back Alive’ is no exception. 

In this short Goofy is staged as some Tarzan-like wild man wearing sneakers. Donald Duck is himself as hunter ‘Frank Duck’, trying to capture the wild man. Their endless chase ends when they encounter a lion. The wild man escapes with Donald’s boat, leaving Donald leaping from tree to tree, followed by the lion. Iris out.

The comedy of ‘Frank Duck Brings ‘Em Back Alive’ does not work well, because Goofy is not really himself here. Maybe director Jack Hannah was inspired by the anonymous Goofies that crowded the Goofy films of the era, including some he directed himself. In any case, when the anonymous Goofy suddenly is reduced to one, something apparently goes wrong. Then we probably expect to watch the real Goofy again, something which does not happen in this cartoon. Instead, we watch a Goofy acting silly, but also outsmarting his hunter, just like Daffy Duck does at Warner Brothers. It just doesn’t feel right. It’s so out of character, it ruins the comedy.

‘Frank Duck Brings ‘Em Back Alive’ contains a very late occasion of Donald’s typical dance of anger, made famous by animator Dick Lundy in Donald’s second screen appearance, ‘Orphan’s Benefit‘ (1934). Donald showed this behavior often in his early career, but it had become rare by the 1940s.

Watch ‘Frank Duck Brings ‘Em Back Alive’ yourself and tell me what you think:

Director: Jack Hannah
Release Date: 
September 20, 1946
Stars:
 Donald Duck
Rating:
 ★★★★
Review:

Lighthouse Keeping © Walt DisneyIn ‘Lightouse Keeping’ Donald works at a lighthouse. He nags a pelican by aiming the light on it. What follows is a fast and funny duel between the two birds in switching on/off the light.

This is a hilarious cartoon from the first scene, in which we watch Donald trying to read in the ever-circling lighthouse light, to the last one, where the feud has gotten so fanatical, the two birds even continue it after sunrise.

With his third Donald Duck short Jack Hannah really hit his stride. It’s faster and better timed than his first three shorts, ‘Donald’s Off Day’ (1944), ‘The Eyes Have It’ and ‘No Sail’ (1945). Maybe he was inspired by his work on a Goofy cartoon, ‘A Knight For A Day‘ earlier that year? In any case, while directing both Goofy and Donald (1946-1947), he made some of his best Donald Duck shorts: apart from ‘Lighthouse Keeping’, the 1947 shorts ‘Straight Shooters’, ‘Clown of the Jungle‘ and ‘Chip an’ Dale‘.

Watch an excerpt from ‘Lighthouse Keeping’ yourself and tell me what you think:

This is Donald Duck cartoon No. 59
To the previous Donald Duck cartoon: Dumb Bell of the Yukon
To the next Donald Duck cartoon: Straight Shooters

Director: Jack Hannah
Release Date: June 7, 1946
Stars: Mickey Mouse, Pluto, Chip and Dale
Rating: ★★★½
Review:

Squatter's Rights © Walt Disney‘Squatter’s Rights’ is director Jack Hannah’s first of many cartoons starring Chip and Dale, who were introduced by Clyde Geronimi in ‘Private Pluto‘ in 1943. The two chipmunks are still interchangeable here. They would get real personalities in their next cartoon ‘Chip an’ Dale‘ (1947).

In this cartoon Chip and Dale live in a winter cottage, which is visited by Mickey and Pluto. Pluto soon discovers the jabbering duo, but Mickey never does. In the end Chip and Dale make Pluto and Mickey think Pluto’s been shot. In the final shot we can see Mickey running into the distance, carrying Pluto to a hospital, and leaving the cottage to the two little chipmunks.

‘Squatter’s ‘Rights’ is the first of only eight post-war Mickey Mouse cartoons. Mickey had had a short renaissance under director Riley Thompson in the early 1940s, but by 1946 he was once again reduced to a side character, at best co-starring with Pluto. ‘Squatter’s Rights’ is typical, with most of the screen time devoted to Pluto, Chip and Dale.

Jack Hannah would direct only one other Mickey Mouse cartoon: ‘Pluto’s Christmas Tree‘ (1952), which also features Chip ‘n Dale. Hannah’s appointed character was Donald Duck, whom he led through the last stage of his cinematic career. In this he would develop Chip n’ Dale into Donald Duck’s main adversaries.

Watch ‘Squatter’s Rights’ yourself and tell me what you think:

This is Mickey Mouse cartoon No. 118
To the previous Mickey Mouse cartoon: Pluto and the Armadillo
To the next Mickey Mouse cartoon: Mickey’s Delayed Date

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