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July 20

July 20, 1951 – The Donald Duck Short Film Lucky Number is Released to Theaters

“Flash! Here it is, ladies and gentlemen. Get your tickets ready for the big drawing of the new Zoom V-8, the super car of the continent!”

On July 20, 1951, the Donald Duck short film Lucky Number was released to theaters. It was directed by Jack Hannah, with the story by Nick George and Bill Berg. It stars Clarence Nash as the voices of Donald, Huey, Dewey, and Louie.

It’s a lovely day at Donald’s Service Station, and Donald is outside cleaning the pumps while his nephews are fixing a car in the garage. The radio announcer interrupts their activities, announcing that it’s time to declare a winner for the drawing of a new car. The boys call their uncle over, and he holds up his ticket excitedly; unfortunately, he is off by only one number. He drops the ticket angrily and marches back to his chores.

One of the nephews writes a note to the others to keep his idea a secret from Uncle Donald

Just as Donald leaves the garage, the announcer says there’s been a slight error, and declares Donald’s number the winner. The nephews grab Donald’s discarded ticket and decide to surprise him by picking up the car themselves. The announcer continues that the winner must be at the car lot by two o’clock, or a new winner will be drawn. Realizing they only have ten minutes to get there, the nephews quickly fix their car and speed out of the garage, much to the annoyance of Donald, who yells at them as they pass.

It’s smooth sailing at first for the trio, but they soon realize they’re out of gas. They quickly drive back to the service station, where Donald is not happy to see them. Without any money to pay for the gas, Donald refuses to fill their car, pushing them into a billboard of the Zoom V-8, the very car Donald has won. The nephews come up with a quick plan, and attack the billboard with a saw.

One of the nephews disguises himself as a beautiful woman so he can trick Donald into filling the car with gas

Disguised as the new car, and one of the nephews dressed as a woman, Donald doesn’t hesitate to help the “lady” out, and the nephews quickly drive away, with Donald still daydreaming. Realizing he’s been tricked, he runs inside just as the phone rings. The man on the other end lets Donald know that his nephews are coming back with a big surprise for him, and he decides he’s going to get them back.

Grabbing a big barrel of oil sludge, he waits until the trio comes back with the new car. Thinking that he’s been tricked again, he covers the new car in the sludge, then pours gasoline on the three to “wash them off.” He then overinflates the car’s tires, while the nephews can only watch in horror. The final blow is when he crushes the car, sending the wheels flying into the air. As Donald laughs at his handiwork, the radio announcer tells everyone that Donald Duck must be enjoying his new car, taking it out for a spin in the country. Realizing what he’s done, he faints, and his nephews can only shrug.

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