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February 11

February 11, 1938 – The Donald Duck Short Film Self-Control is Released to Theaters

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“When anger rises in your soul, laugh and count to ten, self-control should be your goal, laugh and count to ten!”

On February 11, 1938, the Donald Duck short film Self-Control was released to theaters. It was directed by Jack King.

Donald is lounging in his backyard, swinging in a hammock and singing. A musical philosopher named Uncle Smiley starts talking on the radio about self-control, and Donald eagerly listens. When Uncle Smiley asks if Donald has ever lost his temper, Donald answers that he never has, but Uncle Smiley still gives him a secret how to control his temper: just laugh and count to ten. Donald agrees to follow the advice before settling down to take a nap in his hammock. At that moment, a fly lands on his foot, disturbing him, and he angrily swats at it. He misses and lands on his head, and as his anger rises, he starts to count to ten. His anger subdued, he gets back in his hammock and snores away.

As Donald sleeps, he is unaware of the chicken/caterpillar conflict brewing underneath his hammock

As Donald sleeps, he is unaware of the chicken/caterpillar conflict brewing underneath his hammock

A caterpillar falls from the apple tree his hammock is tied to, and starts crawling around underneath the hammock. A nearby chicken notices the caterpillar, and as she jumps up to catch it, she pokes Donald in the backside with her beak. Donald cries out and nearly loses his temper again, but Uncle Smiley starts singing again about letting his troubles fly away. The caterpillar starts crawling around Donald, and when Donald tries to brush it off, the caterpillar slaps him with his tail. The chicken then leaps on to Donald to catch the caterpillar, and Donald falls to the ground again. He counts to ten, but not all of his anger has disappeared. As Uncle Smiley starts to sing again, Donald tells him off and tries to ignore him. A woodpecker then shows up and lands on the punch bowl of lemonade nearby. Donald wakes to find the bird in his lemonade and tries to shoo him away, but ends up with a lemon slice in his eye. Although he tries to ignore the bird, the woodpecker starts pecking the apple tree, filling Donald’s hammock with apples. Having had enough, Donald fights the woodpecker and grabs a shotgun to shoot it, but to no avail. Tired of Uncle Smiley’s advice, he takes the shotgun and uses it to destroy the radio.

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