July 16, 1954 – The Donald Duck Short Film Dragon Around is Released to Theaters
“Uh oh! This tree has to go!”
On July 16, 1954, the Donald Duck short film Dragon Around was released to theaters. This is the 14th short in which chipmunks Chip and Dale play antagonists to Donald Duck. The short was directed by Jack Hannah, with story by Nick George and Roy Williams. It stars Clarence Nash as the voice of Donald, Dessie Flynn as the voice of Dale, and James MacDonald as the voice of Chip.
The short begins with Dale reading a discarded book of fairy tales at a rather unkempt area of the park. Dale is excited when he comes across a tale of a knight fighting a dragon, and he pretends to be a knight. A sudden rattling knocks him from his perch, and he looks around for the source. He sees the shadow of what appears to be a dragon on the side of a hill, and runs for cover in his tree. He tells Chip in a hurry what he saw, but when he pulls the other chipmunk to see, the “dragon” is gone. Chip chastises him for his imagination.
Just then, another rattling rolls around, and the two see the “dragon” on the side of a hill again. As they flee, the source of the shadow is revealed: Donald comes rolling around the hills in a steam shovel, helping prepare another freeway. The only thing in his way is the tree where Chip and Dale live. Quickly, they gather branches and try to attack the steam shovel to protect their tree, but that has little effect. Donald notices the duo’s attacks and scares them with the steam shovel. The pair lands right next to the fairy tale book, which gives Chip an idea, and the two run off to prepare. After a bit of arts and crafts, the pair emerges as a brave knight on his trusty steed, ready to protect their castle.
Donald fixes his steam shovel with a way to spurt fire from its mouth, and the fairy tale begins to become too real for the chipmunks, who flee. When Donald takes a break, they decide to sneak up on the “dragon,” unaware that Donald has been playing with them the entire time. Donald continues to attack their tree, and the duo crashes a boulder into the steam shovel, followed by barrels of tar. The tar rips out the steam shovel’s teeth, and Donald, his temper rising, captures the two and locks them in his tool box while he tries to knock down the tree.
Chip and Dale saw their way out of their tool box and, using a couple of wrenches, they undo every screw they can find. Donald races towards the tree at full speed, unaware that the steam shovel is falling apart as he goes. When he reaches the tree, Donald is left with nothing but his head to smack into the tree trunk. Losing his temper, Donald grabs sticks of dynamite and arranges them around the tree, getting ready to blast them out. As he covers his ears from the eventual blast, Dale goes around extinguishing each stick, and Chip gathers them up, placing them where the steps in a ladder would be. They fool Donald into chasing Dale up the ladder while Chip lights the fuses, and Donald is sent flying high into the sky as the dynamite blows.