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June 30

June 30, 1939 – The Donald Duck Short Film Sea Scouts is Released to Theaters


“That looks like a fish…a flying fish!”

On June 30, 1939, the Donald Duck short film Sea Scouts premiered in theaters. It was the first short directed by Dick Lundy.

Donald is the captain of a ship, with his nephews serving as his crew. As his nephews sleep, he barks orders at them, quickly snapping them to attention. As they hoist the anchor, the anchor gets stuck under a rock and sends them flying. Donald tries to take over, and he too is thrown aside from the pushback. Donald then uses so much force that he almost capsizes the boat. His nephews laugh at his misfortune in raising the anchor, until he yells at them to raise the sails. Seeing that they are incorrect in the procedure, Donald orders them to lower the boom, which they do – on his head. Angered, Donald decides to do everything himself, and starts raising the sails. A strong wind comes in to carry them away, though none realize that the boat is still tied to the dock. The mast is broken from the force of the wind, and Donald gets tangled in a rope and swept away. Seeing his hat having fallen, he demands his nephews bring him down, until he spots a shark right below. Unfortunately, his calls to be brought back up come too late, but Donald manages to scramble his way back up the mast. The boys try to save him, but the shark scares them away, and Donald has to do battle with the beast. When Donald’s hat is ruined in the chase, Donald gets angry enough to fight – and win – against the shark. The boys then head back to short triumphantly.


February 11

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 go to extreme lengths to get their money for Donald's present

The boys go to extreme lengths to get their money for Donald’s present

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.

December 13

December 13, 1940 – The Donald Duck Short Film Fire Chief Premieres in Theaters


“So, they was trying to get something over on me.”

On December 13, 1940, the Donald Duck short film Fire Chief premiered in theaters. It was directed by Jack King.

Donald is sound asleep at his fire station, with his snoring waking his nephews. Irritated, they use their slingshots to hit the alarm, waking Donald and sending him flying to his fire truck. He almost starts the engine when he hears his nephews laughing, and realizes he’s been tricked. When he rushes back upstairs to reprimand them, he finds that they’re already asleep. Knowing that they’re just faking it, he decides to get them back, and blows a trumpet to call them to attention, and having them march in step. Unfortunately, as Donald is marching backwards, he falls right through the hole for the fireman’s pole. One of the nephews, not paying attention, crashes into the other two, and all three fall down the hole on top of Donald. He soon sends them to their posts, although he is very critical of the way one of them places coal in the fire. When Donald dumps all the coal in the boiler, the fire becomes intense to the point where the ceiling catches fire, and the alarm sounds. Unaware that it is his own building that it on fire, Donald readies his team. The nephews try to tell Donald that the fire house is on fire, but Donald doesn’t notices until he’s already halfway down the street.

Donald rushes back to the fire at his own station, only to get stuck in the horn after he comes to a sudden stop

Donald rushes back to the fire at his own station, only to get stuck in the horn after he comes to a sudden stop

When Donald makes it back, he gets stuck in the horn, until his nephews get him out. He gets on the ladder and tells the boys to send him up, and they send him up so fast that the ladder disconnects, and Donald is sent high into the sky. He falls to the ground, and the boys are ready with the net, but Donald falls through the chimney of the fire station and into the stove. Donald continues to sound the alarm, and the boys work to put out the fire while Donald stays stuck in the stove. Donald finally manages to break free, but runs into more trouble with the fire house, which ends up knotted and building up behind him. The hose bursts from the water and the pressure, sending Donald flying into a bicycle store. He makes his way back and attempts to take over, although he mistakenly attaches the fire hose to a gasoline pump rather than the fire hydrant. The boys make a run for it, and Donald burns the firehouse, his fire truck, and his helmet to the ground.

November 26

November 26, 1943 – The Donald Duck Short Film Home Defense is Released to Theaters


“Hey, you! Attention! Display your chevrons! Surrender your weapons, gentlemen! You’re a disgrace to the service!”

On November 26, 1943, the Donald Duck short film Home Defense was released to theaters. It was directed by Jack King.

From his listening post, Donald is falling asleep while his nephews sleep soundly in their tent. Donald tries desperately to stay awake, but fails, dropping his trumpet while he falls to the ground. He ends up snoring into the trumpet, making it sound and waking his nephews, who are shocked to see Donald shirking his duties. They decide to play a prank on their uncle, and send a model airplane flying around the listening post. The sound wakes Donald up, and he believes that there’s a bomber right above them. The nephews then set up their guns, although Donald takes over and shoots the model plane down while the nephews laugh. Donald then sees some parachuters from the plane (another part of the nephews’ prank), and hides in a flowerbed while the nephews make sounds or battle.

Finding that his nephews tricked him, Donald takes away their chevrons and weapons, dismissing them from his service

Finding that his nephews tricked him, Donald takes away their chevrons and weapons, dismissing them from his service

After one of the dummies lands on Donald’s nose, he realizes the ruse and decides to get back at his nephews by dismissing them from his gun crew. He ignores the tears of his nephews as they march away sadly, and is left alone at his post. Later, he hears a bug buzzing around the post and believes that it’s his nephews playing another prank. When he realizes this isn’t the case, he believes that they are under attack, and quickly calls the boys to help. He restores them to the service, and they set up the cannon to be pointed at the listening post’s speaker, much to the surprise of the bug, who barely manages to escape. The nephews try to warn Donald before setting off the cannon, but Donald refuses to listen, and his ears are blown out from the cannon fire into the speaker. The nephews laugh as Donald throws a tantrum at his misfortune.

November 4

November 4, 1938 – The Donald Duck Short Film Donald’s Golf Game is Released to Theaters


“Ah, what a perfect day for a perfect game of golf.”

On November 4, 1938, the Donald Duck short film Donald’s Golf Game was released to theaters. It was directed by Jack King.

Donald is gleefully walking onto the course, with his nephews carrying his rather heavy golf bag. The boys set up his tee, and Donald takes a swing, only to be interrupted by a bird chirping. He yells at the bird, and gets back to swing, when the boys interrupt him by loudly blowing their noses. Donald angrily makes his way over, but they protest that they have colds. Donald retaliates by shutting their beaks with clothespins. Unfortnautely, just as Donald gets ready to once again hit the ball, the nephews sneeze their clothespins off, hitting him on the back of the head and getting one attached to his tail. He angrily breaks his club at the boys’ antics, not noticing that they packed in his bag a box of “Goofy Golf Clubs” that play 1,000 tricks. They take a club to give to Donald, and as Donald prepares to hit the ball, he doesn’t realize that the club turned into a net, scooping up the ball instead of sending it on a long drive. They hand him another club, which becomes an umbrella that takes Donald up into the sky and produces its own rain.

The nephews laugh themselves silly over the pranks they pull on their Uncle Donald

The nephews laugh themselves silly over the pranks they pull on their Uncle Donald

The nephews are beside themselves with laughter, but vamoose when they see Donald making his way over. As they hide from their uncle, they spot a grasshopper, which they hide in a golf ball. When Donald isn’t looking, they replace his ball with the trick ball. As Donald continues his game, the ball jumps away from him, and Donald angrily tries to bat it with his club. When the ball jumps out into the water, the boys provide him an inner tube so he can go after it, and pull the plug when Donald is out far enough. Even so, Donald tries to play his ball through the water, sending it flying to the hole. He chases after it on land and finally finds the grasshopper in the ball, setting it free. He lands on his face on the green, and the nephews decide to play their own hybrid game of golf and pool, sending balls flying into the pocket after torturing Donald in various ways. Angered, he takes another trick club and throws it at the boys, which turns into a boomerang and flies right back into Donald, sending him flying face-first into a hole.

October 17

October 17, 1937 – Donald’s Nephews Huey, Dewey, and Louie First Appear


“I am sending your angel nephews, Louie, Huey and Dewey, to stay with you while their father is in the hospital. A giant firecracker exploded under his chair.”

On October 17, 1937, the characters Huey, Dewey, and Louie first appeared in the Donald Duck Sunday comic strip. They made their first appearance after Donald’s cousin Della sent them to him while their father was in the hospital thanks to one of their pranks. The triplets and their antics would prove popular enough to transition onto the screen in the short film Donald’s Nephews, released on April 15, 1938. Seen as one entity throughout most of their career, the choice to make them wear different colors for distinction came about when they were given their own show in 1987, DuckTales. Huey was to wear red (the brightest “hue”), Dewey would wear blue (the color of water and dew), and Louie would wear green.

January 20

January 20, 1950 – The Donald Duck Short Film Lion Around Premieres in Theaters


“Now, you brats get out of here. And stay out!”

On January 20, 1950, the Donald Duck short film Lion Around premiered in theaters. This film also stars Donald’s nephews, Huey, Dewey, and Louie. The short was directed by Jack Hannah, with story by Bill Berg and Nick George.

In the woods, one of Donald’s nephews is tracking a mountain lion. As the mountain lion gets ready to pounce, he falls to the ground, and out bursts the other nephews, who had dressed up as a mountain lion as part of a game. As they all laugh at their game, they hear Donald signing from the cabin, and watch as he places a freshly made pie on the windowsill. The nephews put their heads together to try to fool their uncle. One of them runs to the cottage, crying out for help, while the two in their mountain lion costume run after him. Donald quickly grabs his shotgun and makes his way after the mountain lion. Unfortunately, the “mountain lion” scares Donald badly enough to make him drop his gun and flee.

The nephews' costume rips away, revealing the trick they played on their Uncle Donald

The nephews’ costume rips away, revealing the trick they played on their Uncle Donald

After scaring Donald away, one of the nephews grabs the pie, ready to share with his brothers. Meanwhile, Donald’s costumed nephews chase him up a tree. Unfortunately, the top half of the costume gets caught on a tree branch, revealing the ruse to Donald, who is furious. He chases the nephews and retrieves his pie. As the nephews walk away, they come across a real mountain lion. As the nephews flee, the lion turns his attention to Donald, seeing him as a slab of meat. He pounces on Donald, but Donald, thinking this is another prank from his nephews, quickly gets the upper hand and begins to give the lion a spanking. Furious at this treatment, the lion tries to find a way to get back at Donald, when he spots the pie on the windowsill. He cuts himself a piece before Donald attacks.

The lion bursts into the house for the pie, and Donald tries to punish his nephews again, when they appear in the window, holding their costume. Finally understanding that a real mountain lion is in his house, he tries to hide, but the lion pursues him. Donald climbs up the chimney and into the tree, with the mountain lion catching up to him. As Donald begins to pray, a pie lands in his hands, which he quickly feeds to the mountain lion. Another pie appears, followed by another; the nephews send pies via catapult to Donald so that the duck can distract the lion from eating him.

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.