31 DAYS OF HALLOWEEN: DONALD DUCK IN DUCK PIMPLES REVIEW
Theme Song by Bruce Healey and owned by Walt Disney Records
FINALLY SOMETHING NEW FROM ME!!!!!
This year for the 31 Days of Halloween is very personal and special to me because Iâ€™m going to be reviewing my ALL TIME FAVORITE CARTOON SHORT!! I have a deep love and nostalgic bond with this cartoon. Let me explain. I had a VHS tape where my parents recorded a whole anthology of Disney movies and as a kid were the only copies of these films available to me. The list of films was Sleeping Beauty, Dumbo, Cinderella, and Disney Sing Along Songs Heigh Ho Vol.1 and as you know from my epic Sing Along saga Reviews and my Sleeping Beauty Review (Iâ€™m going to have to rewrite that because it was a casualty of the move) then you can easily infer I watched the EVER LIVING CRAP out of this tape. But there was something else on the tape something simply called Scary Tales. Now Disney had this really cool idea of having their classic shorts released in various anthologies based around a theme weâ€™re talking old school shorts from the very beginning in the late 1920s all the way up to the 1960s. Scary Tales took pretty much every classic Halloween Disney short and put them into one. The compilation had the classic Skeleton Dance, Mickeyâ€™s Haunted House, the classic Halloween themed Donald Duck and the Gorilla, Donaldâ€™s Lucky Day and the short Iâ€™m going to review and the one that left the biggest impact on me Duck Pimples!
The story of the short is very interesting and very very odd! The premise is simple, but what actually follows is unbelievably creative and surreal madness! Itâ€™s a dark and stormy night and Donald is in his house wanting to relax and take it easy. He listens to the radio and hears nothing, but horror stories or dark stories of death and murder and Donaldâ€™s imagination is very active and creative it feels like heâ€™s really there so he gets a little too engaged in the radio dramas and decides he needs to calm down and then the doorbell rings and a creepy salesman asks if heâ€™s interested in buying the various serials and novels of varying genres. The salesmanâ€™s personality and motivations is when things ACTUALLY start getting weird if you can possibly believe that. Anyway so after the salesman leaves and Donald has a bunch of books to entertain himself he picks a mystery caper novel and the boundaries between fantasy and reality break away as Donald is so engaged in the book the famous mallard becomes a participant in the story heâ€™s reading. The story that Donald has gotten himself into is a mystery about a beautiful womanâ€™s missing pearls and the lead cop interrogates Donald and threatens to torture him with various tools such as hot irons and a switchblade to find the culprit. Iâ€™m really not going to say anything else, but I will say that things get unbelievably crazy and I am not spoiling the perfect ending that is very appropriate to this fantastic mindfuck! Letâ€™s just say the ending calls into question the very idea of what happened.
Iâ€™m not really going to talk about characters because theyâ€™re all fine, but the real value is in the situations and all about the execution of this crazy trippy scenario although I will say that Donald makes for a fantastic victim who is on the brink of absolutely losing his sanity! The expressions on his face are absolutely priceless! The main reason why I loved this short as a kid was because it was so strange! This short introduced me to the concepts of surrealism, dark humor and stories that question the notion of reality. I would watch the short over and over again fascinated at the power of pure engagement in a story or art form where it feels like youâ€™re there and the feeling is mutual with Donaldâ€™s experience and the viewer watching Donaldâ€™s experience.
The animation is slightly more subdued in this short. While still zany and hyper in its movements the animation and characters never really bounce off the walls, but the animation focuses more on atmosphere and transitions of the backgrounds the more Donald literally gets sucked into the story. The mood and transitions are consistent despite the fact the backgrounds change frequently itâ€™s never too fast where the switch is jarring always maintaining the surreal changes in locations.
With the wonderfully interesting theme and insane execution Duck Pimples is an excellent short doing something new and creative that only animation can accomplish and delivering a surrealistic experience you wonâ€™t forget. I certainly didn’t after all these years. Happy Halloween Everyone!
VERDICT: 5 pearls out of 5