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December 23

December 23, 1954 – The Donald Duck Short Film Grand Canyonscope is Released to Theaters

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“If we all threw rocks into the canyon, pretty soon we wouldn’t have a canyon, would we?”

On December 23, 1954, the Donald Duck short film Grand Canyonscope was released to theaters. Donald is the only classic character of the main Disney characters to appear in Cinemascope with this short film; this film also appeared months before Lady and the Tramp, the studio’s first widescreen release. It was directed by C. August Nichols, with story by Milt Schaffer and Nick George.

Donald is on vacation at the Grand Canyon, with Ranger J. Audubon Woodlore serving as the tour guide for the national monument. Donald gets in trouble almost immediately when he attempts to throw a rock from the viewing ledge. Donald then attempts to help a sand painter, but is once again thwarted by Woodlore. No matter what Donald attempts to do, Woodlore is always there to stop the trouble. Finally, the group goes on a burro ride down the canyon, with Donald taking several pictures. The camera’s flash blinds Donald’s burro, and takes Donald on a rather loopy ride around the canyon before Donald falls from his ride. Woodlore catches Donald, then lectures him about leaving his burro behind. The two go and search for the burro, when Woodlore, thinking that he’s found it, accidentally pulls out a mountain lion. The lion, angered at being woken up, chases after Donald and Woodlore while the other tourists just watch. Woodlore continues to lecture the pair while the chase continues and destroys the entire canyon. Angered by Donald and the lion’s actions, Woodlore lays down the law: “When a natural object is marred or defaced, it must be restored to its original state.” After this, he throws the pair some shovels, as they must now dig to create a new Grand Canyon.

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