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April 25

April 25, 1952 – The Donald Duck Short, Let’s Stick Together, is Released to Theaters

“You know, strange as it may seem, I used to be in business with that old duffer.”

On April 25, 1952, the Donald Duck short, Let’s Stick Together, was released to theaters. It features one of Donald’s many adversaries, Spike the Bee, who made his premiere in the 1948 Donald Duck short, Inferior Decorator. The short was directed by Jack Hannah, with the story by Nick George and Al Bertino. It also stars Clarence Nash as Donald, Bill Thompson as Spike, and voice actress legend June Foray in a cameo as Spike’s wife.

The short opens on a crisp fall day in the park, where an old bee is seen sitting on a ledge of a tree in his rocking chair, smoking a corncob pipe. He is suddenly startled as something lands into the ground in front of him. As the camera pans out, we see that the item belongs to an elderly Donald Duck, who is picking up trash in the park. He sits down on a bench to rest, and the bee laughs, narrating to the audience how he knows Donald, and taking the audience with him as he reminisces.

Spike discovers that his stinger is part of his secret talent

The flashback begins with Spike looking at the want ads in an abandoned newspaper. Just as he picks out what he thinks is the perfect job, the paper is snatched out from under him, flipping him into the air and dropping him harshly on the ground. Annoyed, Spike flies up to perch on a flower to look at his “attacker.” He then spies Donald, who is picking up the trash in the park, and gets an idea: he can use his stinger to pick up trash, and calls it his “hidden talent.” Excited by this discovery, he flies around Donald and shows the duck that he can help pick up trash. Donald is impressed, but is confused when Spike pushes Donald to the bench, letting him know he won’t be needed.

Spike makes quick work of the trash, and brings Donald part of a cigar he’s found. Donald pats Spike on the head and begins to relax while Elderly Spike relays to the audience that this was the beginning of a beautiful friendship. The next day, the two went into business together, beginning at a local carnival. Donald is seen selling balloons for 10 cents a balloon, and after he sells them, he sends Spike out to pop them, forcing the children to buy from Donald again. Spike is distracted, however, by an ad for a balloon dancer, and slips inside, popping the balloons that cover the girl. She lets out a shriek, and Spike flies out again, shrugging.

Spike working on creating a lace pattern

The next job the two held was a tattoo parlor, with Donald using Spike’s stinger for a needle. Donald is impressed with Spike’s work, and they move on to other projects, including making socks, lace, monogrammed handkerchiefs, and even fancy curtains. Soon, as Spike tells us, they were in full production mode. As the orders kept coming in, Spike became more and more fatigued. He pleads with Donald to let him have a vacation, and Donald surprises him with a greenhouse full of flowers, complete with a lady bee as well. Falling in love makes Spike work harder than ever, only he destroys everything by stitching hearts everywhere.

Donald, seeing as how everything has been vandalized, cries out that he’s ruined, and glares at the lovesick bee before trying to swat the lady bee. Spike runs to protect his lady, and decides to sting the duck in the tail. It was the end of their partnership, and Spike and his lady “have been happy all these years,” Spike tells the audience. The audience hears the truth, however, as Spike’s lady begins to scream at him for lounging around. Spike decides to join Donald once again in their partnership, and the two hobble down the road together.

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