The DVD “Merry Christmas with Donald and Friends” contains a collection of ten short cartoons that Disney made in the 1930s and 1940s. Some movies such as “Donald’s Snow Fight” and “On Slippery Ice” are also included on the similar compilation DVD “Merry Christmas with Mickey and Friends”, released in 2006.
Donald is skating on a frozen lake in “The Hockey Champ” (“The Hockey Champ”) (1939) when he sees the nephews playing hockey. A good reason to tell that Donald was once a hockey champion. Of course, they don’t believe much of it at first, but then Donald comes up with very convincing evidence. Of course, the nephews don’t just let that go by itself and that makes for hilarious scenes. For example, the scene with the waterfall is very well liked, and precisely because it comes so unexpectedly, it is funny.
In the very funny Disney short “Donald’s Snow Fight” (“Donald’s Snow Fight”) (1942), Donald and his nephews have another fight. Donald starts, although you would expect him to be the oldest so the wisest… He breaks the snowman that his Huey, Dewey and Louie just made before. But of course the nephews won’t let that go by themselves. “Donald’s Snow Fight” will keep you smiling, because the video never gets boring and contains hilarious scenes.
In the video “The Rescue Dog” (“Rescue Dog”) (1947), Pluto has taken on the important role of a rescue dog. The area in which the movie takes place is very snowy, and Pluto has some difficulty with its task at first. Within two minutes he has already lost the keg of drink. He is introduced to Salty, a droll sea lion, but while Salty is eager to befriend Pluto, the dog is not that pleased. A comical video, mainly due to the presence of Salty, and the haughty attitude of Mickey’s dog.
Jack Hannah first introduced the entertainment industry’s best-known ground squirrels to Donald Duck in “Chip and Dale” (“Chip an” Dale “) (1947). In the two previous shorts in which Chip and Dale appeared, they played with Mickey and Pluto, but they didn’t have a name at that time. Donald is going to chop wood in the forest to keep warm, but that is precisely the hollow tree where Chip and Dale have stored their nut stock. Of course, the two animals don’t just let that go their way and soon they invade Donald’s house. Very nice is the scene in which Chip and Dale walk out and Donald notices them. The difference between the smart and the stupid squirrel is really clear for the first time in this video, Chip has a smaller nose than Dale (Babbel) and the teeth are different. Very nice movie!
The pantry of Knabbel en Babbel has to be full, because it is almost winter. In “Winter Stock” (“Winter Storage”) (1949), the two must work together to collect acorns, but that’s not easy. Could Donald, who is planting acorns in the forest for new trees, help? Knabbel thinks so, but Babbel does not really understand the principle yet. When Donald spots the thieving squirrels, he tries to thwart the duo. Who will win? “Winter Stock” offers nothing new under the sun, but why should anything be changed in the design when it is so effective? Guaranteed fun, especially at the hockey game at the end.
In “The Christmas Surprise” (“Toy Tinkers”) (1949), Chip, Babbel and Donald Duck try again to see who has the longest breath. Donald wakes up the squirrels by cutting down a Christmas tree near them, and the two friends follow him. They see through the window of the cabin that he is decorating the tree, but when their eye falls on the Christmas treats, their interest is piqued. What follows is a fun little adventure where the inventiveness of the squirrels is tested to the limit.
“Popcorn” (“Corn Chips”) (1951) by Jack Hannah is a funny short film in which Donald and Nibble and Babbel have another fight. Donald is diligently clearing the snow from his garden path when he sees how efficiently and quickly the two squirrels clear their branch of snow. Donald cunningly ensures that they take over his task too, but when the two rodents find out, they are of course indignant. When they enter Donald’s house, they are introduced to the phenomenon of popcorn for the first time and they like it. A fight for the delicious snack ensues, until Donald is actually back to square one. The story is nothing more than formula work, but it absolutely works.
“On Ice” (“On Ice”) from 1935 can best be counted as one of the classics. Not only Mickey Mouse has a leading role, also Donald and Goofy are often in the picture. We see Mickey showing off for Minnie, tue is most likely on the irons for the first time. Goofy tries to fish, but uses tobacco as bait. Donald teases Pluto by tying him on skates. The duck enjoys the bumbling dog, whose legs go in all directions. However, that will cost Donald dearly. Because he is holding a kite and the wind suddenly picks up, he is blown away. Mickey has to save him. “On Slippery Ice” is a very funny Disney short that you will enjoy putting in your DVD player several times.
In the 1936 film “In the Alps” (“Alpine Climbers”) (1936), Donald, Mickey and Pluto climb the Alps. However, they don’t behave very nicely. First of all, Donald picks Edelweiss everywhere, but a young lamb turns out to be very fond of it. Leave it to Donald to get mad about that! But also Mickey, whose intelligence we estimate a little higher, does not take the laws of nature so closely when he robs an eagle’s nest of its eggs. Not very smart. Pluto can’t really be blamed, but Mickey’s action puts him in a fight with a baby eagle and eventually a Saint Bernard dog must be involved to save Pluto from freezing. These are nice Disney shorts, but certainly not the best. The scenes are stretched too long to be captivating, although it certainly contains visual jokes. For example, the way the eggs hatch and get revenge on Mickey has been liked.
To ski? That’s a breeze! At least, that’s what the voice-over of “The Art of Skiing” (“The Art of Skiing”) (1941) would have us believe. The images, of a bumbling Goofy, contradict this, however. In his unsurpassed way, the dingo-like hero shows what not to do. ‘The art of skiing’ is an important Disney short in history in two respects: First of all, it is the first movie in which the famous Goofy Holler could be heard and in addition, the success of this cartoon led to a whole series of ‘how to’ , in which the lanky cartoon character (does not) explain the techniques of certain sports. But in addition to its historical significance, “The Art of Skiing” is simply a humorous video that will make you laugh several times. Disney at its best!
“Merry Christmas with Donald and Friends” is a really fun compilation of Disney cartoons that young and old will enjoy. Not all films are equally strong, but there are undoubtedly films in between that will be counted among your favorites in no time.