Animated Short Reviews, Animated Shorts, Reviews

Winter Storage Review

Another special has Chip n Dale at it again but this time Donald starts the fight. He has started a very successful Nut Butter company by turning Acorns into butter. The problem is that he is running out of butter and business is still booming. He decides to steal the nut supply from the Chipmunks which is where all of the trouble starts. They don’t take kindly to this and initiate a counter strike where they don’t leave a single acorn behind.

To Donald’s credit he does a good job of defending himself once he knows what’s up. An intense hockey game starts up with the highest stakes possible, the nuts. Donald tries blocking the Chipmunks from slamming the nuts into their treehouse but 2 v 1 just aren’t good odds and Donald is getting roasted. He is clearly out of practice and needs to find his inner champion again.

As it is, Donald did deflect some of the nets and held his own in the skirmishes. They just overwhelmed him with the sheer amount of nuts that they were swinging around. Even then he didn’t back down and took them head in which was pretty impressive. I can’t blame the Chipmunks for their actions at all this time either since Donald is the one who stole their nuts. You simply can’t let that happen.

I’d definitely like to see some more sports with Donald and the crew. Honestly I’d probably say that Donald would even outrank Mickey in this area since he just seems the most agile. Donald definitely has the most competitive spirit as well so he wouldn’t mind roughing Mickey up a bit during the plays which would give him the edge. As long as he isn’t unfairly outnumbered like in this special, my money is always on the duck.

There’s not much to say about the animation as it’s basically the usual. Solid and streamlined as always with a lot of heart out into it. I’d expect nothing less from Disney since they always deliver. I’ll give a shoutout to the fact that they always manage to put a lot of plot into the special even with no dialogue. They definitely mastered the art of show don’t tell.

Overall, This was another pretty fun special. The Hockey Game was definitely the highlight and just made the special a blast to watch. Donald also did get the last laugh even if wha he did still helped his opponents. At least he got to go down on his own terms which isn’t something that just anyone can say. I still say that 1 on 1 Donald would have claimed victory here. He doesn’t hold back against any opponent and would have used his size advantage and competitive intensity to control the court. Nobody stops this duck!

Overall 7/10

Animated Short Reviews, Animated Shorts, Reviews

Out of Scale Review

This is the start of the Chip n Dale triple feature. The two match wits against Donald on 3 occasions. Naturally you know who I’m rooting for as Donald just seems like a good guy…sometimes. I’m not really a big Chip n Dale fan with all their infighting and constantly getting in Donald’s way. Donald does start the fight in two of the specials but let’s put that to the side for now.

The two chipmunks were heading home for the day when they realize that it has gotten a lot smaller somehow. Little do they know that Donald has removed their tree as it was deemed to be too big and he replaced it with a much smaller one. He is trying to build a tiny sized world that he can rule. The Chipmunks enjoy it for a bit but eventually Donald goes mad with power and takes it too far. Can the Chipmunks stop him or is it game over?

The special was pretty good and squarely in the middle of the 3. For once Donald and the Chipmunks basically got along the entire time. It seems like Donald just can’t resist making a prank and that’s when the tensions start to rise. The Chipmunks do make a great peace offering at the end though so for once it ends on a happy note for everyone. I can tell you that this is certainly a very rare event indeed. The animation is pretty smooth as always. The character designs are on point and the backgrounds look realistic and cheerful. It is able to make the plots work on screen as all of Donald’s gadgets can be instantly recognized. Disney was still ahead of its time in animation at this time.

The Chipmunks almost should have kept on living under Donald’s care. They would have had a home in the winter and enough food to live comfortably. Sure, he’ll have his pranks and all, but I doubt he would do anything to wreck the house so they’re only in trouble if they go outside. It may not be an exciting life, but it could be a pretty solid one all the same. That being said, I’m sure Donald would get bored after a while so it’d be more like a hotel stay. Once the service ends it’s time to go.

Overall, you can’t go wrong with this classic short. It’s only a few minutes so the pacing is pretty tight. Even if you didn’t like the special it wouldn’t be all that bad for the same reason since it finished very quickly. I still prefer to see Donald hanging out with Mickey or Scrooge but he certainly does help Chip n Dale be more interesting as well. Donald can hold his own specials easily so throwing him with other characters is a way to bring any special up. Now a Goofy and Chip n Dale team up….let’s not even think about that!

Overall 7/10

Animated Short Reviews, Animated Shorts, Reviews

The Whalers Review

It’s time for the second Disney special. On TV they aired both back to back which was pretty neat. This one is a little more of a big deal since it’s the crossover between Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and Goofy. Seeing the three of them on the big screen was intense. Despite this, it actually wasn’t as good as the Donald special though. Lets face it, Goofy can’t really hold his own next to the other two and Donald just makes for a more entertaining character.

The special starts off with Mickey Mouse getting another reality warper upset. This causes a bunch of water to come alive and constantly knock Mickey around. Mickey takes it in stride, but after getting knocked around the whole boat for a while, he realizes that he is in over his head. Donald tries to eat a sandwich, but he takes a little too long so the bird take it off of his hands. Meanwhile, Goofy keeps setting himself on fire, which is most unfortunate. The three of them have definitely fallen on hard times and they certainly can’t hope to snag a whale this way. Ah well…maybe they should have gone fishing instead.

The animation is pretty clean as you’d expect. The colors are all pretty seamless so you can see how much effort was put into the character designs. From the 3 plots, Mickey was probably the best even if it was rather repetitive. After getting blasted by the water for the 2nd and 3rd time, you kinda get the point. The Goofy plot was your typical slap stick. It wasn’t anything special, but at least Goofy always tries. Donald’s plight was the most sympathetic since everyone really wants to be able to finish their lunch in peace. Donald did an admirable job of trying to hold on, but you really can’t stop the birds. The three plots converged at the end, but even teaming up they weren’t able to do much.

It’s pretty interesting that Mickey’s boat can essentially turn into a giant mouth that can eat people up. It was even more interesting how the Whale just barreled through the place. If we’ve learned anything from the classic Disney shorts, it’s that you really can’t mess with aquatic animals. They fear nobody and have the raw strength to back that attitude up.

Overall, The Whalers isn’t quite as fun as the Sea Scouts. That’s mainly because of the fact that the special which was already very short, had to also juggle 3 different plots before merging them. There’s not much time to do anything so they settle for just using one joke each and then reusing it until it’s time to shift gears. I think a better use of its time would have been to have just had all 3 characters on screen at once. With one plot, then the special could have given them more things to do. It’s fun enough though and it’s so short that it’s not a big investment of your time. I’d recommend checking it out. Try to imagine how you’d handle the Mickey situation differently and think about your odds of success. There wasn’t much he could have done, but I would have at least gone under the ship into the boiler room. The water would probably be a little scared to follow me in there!

Overall 6/10

Animated Short Reviews, Animated Shorts, Reviews

Sea Scouts Review

It’s time for one of the classic Disney shorts. It’s been a while since I’ve seen an animated short from any company so it’s fun to go back and review one. This short is only around 7 minutes so it takes the term quite literally. It’s about Donald and his nephews enjoying a nice boat ride around the world. Donald is at the helm so he’s too busy to be steering. Unfortunately, the voyage isn’t all smooth sailing as a shark decides to attack. Donald’s a pretty tough character, but can he really hope to win this round?

It’s a fun enough short. The whole special is essentially a chase scene with the Shark trying to chomp up the heroes once and for all. I’m glad that Donald realized that his hat’s safety was his top priority since you really can’t afford to lose that. The nephews actually didn’t get to do much and you may even wonder why they are here. The special wouldn’t have changed much if they had not been present. The animation is pretty fluid throughout and it certainly has a very retro feel. You’ll find yourself feeling bad for the Shark since he really had the edge as only reality warping could stop him during this battle. If Donald didn’t defy gravity so much he would have met with an untimely demise.

Overall there’s not a whole lot you can talk about for a 7 minute segment so that’s about it. If you like the classic Disney style then you’ll enjoy this special. Donald is really able to hold his own special more than most of the other Disney characters. Only Mickey Mouse can really hold his own or good ole Uncle Scrooge. Otherwise, Donald has just got the title of best main character hands down. With the element of danger that the Shark brought in as well, it’s safe to say that this is one of the more exciting Disney shorts.

Overall 7/10

Animated Short Reviews, Animated Shorts, Reviews

Polar Trappers Review

It’s time for the final Disney special that I’ve seen so far. This one features the long awaited team up between Donald and Goofy. I can’t say that I’m a big fan of Goofy. His character gimmick of not being too smart has been done more successfully by other characters like Knuckles from Sonic Boom. That being said, he was a little better here than I had expected. Goofy tries to capture some fish alive so he can take them back somewhere while Donald wants to eat Penguins for Brunch. Think of it like Batman V Superman with the moral dilemmas of this. Goofy gets a pretty neat song about how he catches them and keeps them alive. It was pretty hype and you feel bad for Goofy since he had better motives than Donald here, but still gets soundly defeated by nature in the end.

As for Donald, he’s essentially the antagonist here. He’s always trying to stir up some trouble and make life a little dicey for the Penguins. Luckily, they were onto him and his plans were spoiled yet again. He should have just kept on eating the beans right? I do like beans quite a bit, but they are one of the few foods that I actually would get bored with so I can totally sympathize with Donald’s reluctance to eat them. I can’t sympathize with his plan to eat a Penguin though. As with the other two specials, the animation is nice and smooth here. It’s a neat coincidence that all three specials took place with a lot of ice and snow. I suppose if it works, it works right?

Overall, It was neat to see the two heroes team up. “Hero” is a bit of an ambitious term for these two characters though. It was good to see the Penguins put them in their place as they reminded the main characters of who was really in charge here. It’s not quite as good as Corn Chips, but I’d say that it beat Rescue Dog. Once again, the short is only a few minutes so you’ll be able to blast through it in no time. I can definitely see the appeal of a good short as well, it is easy to just plug it in and watch without making a long time commitment. It’s a good style for telling stories as long as there is no really big plot.

Overall 6/10

Animated Short Reviews, Animated Shorts, Reviews

Rescue Dog Review

Rescue Dog is an old Disney special/serial from a very long time ago. Pluto’s the main character and he is really put through the ringer in this one. He underestimates Disney’s version of Jerry and pays the price. As Pluto cannot talk, it plays out like a silent film. The little Penguin who humiliates Pluto during the entirety of the short is a pretty good character. He may have defeated Pluto, but he still decided to help him out when the stakes became lethal. That’s a good rival to have.

The animation is smooth and looks good as the segment goes on. It is still very impressive to consider the fact that the animation tops that of some 2016 films. Disney definitely knew how to draw. The icy backdrop makes for a good locale in the special. Typically I prefer a bustling city myself, but the arctic can work wonders as well. Just look at Super Android 13, the DBZ film. We get a lot of action in the film since Pluto and the Penguin….Seal really duke it out for a little while. They chase each other up and down trees and it’s all very intense, but there can only be one winner and we know who that is.

Overall, this special is under 10 minutes. It is shorter than an Arthur segment so there is no time to really dislike it. Likewise, it won’t win any awards from me either. It’s a decent way to spend a few minutes and there is nothing wrong with the plot. I think it would have been better with more enjoyable characters, but at least there were no bad ones. If you like Pluto then that will help the short quite a bit. I like Pluto more than Goofy, but I’d certainly prefer to see Donald or Mickey take the spotlight. Those characters are the ones who really put Disney on the map after all. I’ve got two more animated short reviews coming up so stay tuned!

Overall 6/10