Saturday, January 11, 2014

"Donald's Diary" - Donald Duck (1954)

In this 1954 cartoon Donald is a happy bachelor looking for love and finds that true love is more than he bargained for. But before he realizes that truth, he must go through all of the “honeymoon” phases attendant to any loving relationship.

With the standard cast of Donald, Daisy and Huey, Dewey and Louie it is hard to imagine that this was the last feature which would have Daisy Duck in it. She is, after all, the main character in this cartoon, which is a wonderful send up of a typical marriage.

The cartoon begins in what appears to be San Francisco, with Donald strolling the hilly streets in search of love. Daisy hears him whistling down the street and dons a beautiful dress in the hopes of snaring a mate. She does all of the atypical things that women in the movies do; she drops a handkerchief; goes into a faint; even pretends to drown, but Donald seems oblivious to her. But Daisy has a few tricks up her sleeve and the two are soon dating.

Their courtship consists of all the usual things; a drive-in movie; eating at a diner; and they even carve their names on a tree trunk. (The trunk actually has all of Daisy’s previous prospects names on it.) It is at this point that they kiss and “fall in love.”

The next logical step is for Donald to meet Daisy’s family. Huey, Dewey and Louie play Daisy’s brothers and they give Donald the welcome you would expect in a Donald Duck cartoon. He then meets her deaf mother, who is an exact replica of Whistler’s classic painting. After meeting her father, a crazed photographer, Donald is entranced with the idea of entering the state of Holy Matrimony.

He goes to the jewelry store and buys the requisite ring in order to propose to Daisy. He arrives back at the house and the stage is set for him to pop the question. But, while Daisy is upstairs getting ready; which takes several hours; Donald falls into a deep sleep, dreaming of married life.

After Daisy accepts his proposal in the dream the two start out life as a happily wedded couple. But happiness seems to elude Donald at every turn as he deals with his in laws and all of the responsibilities which go along with wedded bliss. Clearly, Donald has made a mistake.

When Daisy comes downstairs to wake him up, expecting him to propose, Donald screams in horror and runs out of the house screaming, leaving a hole in the door which he neglected to open while making his escape. The wedding is, apparently, off.

When we next see Donald he is sitting in a sparsely furnished room writing in his diary. As the cartoon comes to a close Donald writes his summation of what he has almost been through. “"It was a narrow escape. Though I was born when I kissed her, I died when we parted."  
A bugle is then heard playing in the background and he rushes out the door to take his place along the ramparts of a desert fort flying the French tricolor. The last thing he says as the cartoon comes to a close is, "But I lived for a little while".

This is the original 1954 movie poster for "Donald's Diary"

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