I used to think I was pretty hot stuff when it came to the movie buff game. I thought I knew my Disney. All that was before HIMSELF, THE BOY came into my life. Gavin has his challenges (autism/developmental delay), but the kid knows Disney. It was HIMSELF, THE BOY that introduced me to the wonderful and wacky Duck Pimples, a short from 1945.
Based on a story by gagmen Virgil Partch and Dick Shaw, it is unlike any Disney or Donald 'toon before or since. It's directed by Jack Kinney, who also gave us the delightful Donald's Diary wherein Donald's inner voice is the dulcet tones of Ronald Colman. In Duck Pimples, Donald is thrown into a surrealistic, noirish nightmare that abounds with animated gags and thrills.
Donald expert, director Jack Hannah referred to his protagonist as "the duck" and explained that "the duck" was such a good character because as Mickey Mouse became a star he could no longer get away with the cheeky antics of his youth. Bad-tempered, hard-luck Donald fulfilled that comic need. Animator Ward Kimball put it this way: "Is there anything we didn't do to poor Donald?"
Well, the duck is certainly put through his paces in this short that HIMSELF, THE BOY and I enjoy particularly at Hallowe'en. We're sure you'll enjoy it as well.
Note: Hugh Hennessy was an animator whose work for Disney spanned from The Band Concert to Lady and the Tramp.