February 11, 1949 – The Donald Duck Short Film Donald’s Happy Birthday is Released to Theaters
“Take my advice, do as I say, save a little money for a rainy day.”
On February 11, 1949, the Donald Duck short film Donald’s Happy Birthday was released to theaters. It was directed by Jack Hannah, with story by Nick George and Bill Berg.
It’s March 13th – Donald’s birthday – and the nephews are squirreled away in their treehouse, trying to figure out what to get their uncle. Finally, they agree on getting Donald a box of cigars, only to realize they don’t have any money. They then decide to do all the yard work, hoping that Donald will give them some money, and end up waking him from his nap in their zeal to clean up his garden. Donald is shocked to see his nephews working, and the boys present him with a bill for $2.98 – the amount for the cigars. The boys are excited and are ready to leave the house, but Donald demands that they put the money in a bank. As Donald heads back to his nap, the nephews sneak in to take the bank, unaware that Donald was awake the entire time.
The boys head back to the treehouse, and Donald spies on them, suspicious. He sneaks inside and catches them in the act of taking money from the bank, and chews them out before taking the bank back inside. The nephews refuse to give up, and decide to try and take it using a fishing rod to lift it out of Donald’s grasp. They manage to get the money after bungling the job, and Donald spies the boys walking out of the cigar store. He catches them in the act, and decides to teach them a lesson about the dangers of smoking by making them smoke the cigars. Unfortunately, after Donald has cleared out the box, he finds the birthday card from the boys. Donald has totally forgotten it’s his birthday, and is so embarrassed at his antics that he shrinks down in shame and jumps out a hole in the treehouse floor.