|Index||8 reviews in total|
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
When I was a kid I had a tape with Disney shorts that I liked to watch
frequently. The Autograph Hound was on it and it's the only one that
has remained fresh in my memory all this years.
I can tell you this much. It has the most beautiful animation and has captured much of that nostalgic Hollywood glamor which lacks today.
Some memorable scenes include Donald carrying an autograph of Sonja Henie. She signs it on a big pile of ice which he carries around under the hot Californian sun. Needles to say... it melts. And then, there is Clark Gable... with immense ears. Last, but not least, there is a scene where Donald and Shirley Temple exchange autographs and do a little number of step.
One of the best out there.
I can remember this cartoon very fondly. It was one of the earliest
cartoons I'd ever seen, let alone among the Donald Duck archives (when
VHS first started, a good chunk of his and other Disney characters got
their own sets of cartoon tapes). And, it also serves as something of
worth as being maybe the first place I ever got some insight about
Hollywood. That it's Hollywood in Marx Brothers, Shriley Temple, and
Mickey Rooney form turns everything into bolder things. It even has a
sort of timeless quality, even when dealing with icons of the time all
now obscured or mythic in stature.
Basically, Donald, being a fan of every Hollywood star in sight, wants to get inside and get as much as possible for his little book. A venture that keeps getting thwarted by a security guard (the un-named Pete of several cartoons before his solidifying into the cast) and by several odd attempts at securing the coveted name in ink. Of course, everyone in the cartoon is impersonated (probably even Temple, though having never seen one of her films I can't vouch). But that then brings out more for the conventions to bring out more laughs. Rooney's segment, watching it today, is funnier than when I was a kid. I got more of the subtleties laced into the obvious gags. There's even a scene with Donald and three brothers whom I (and I admit this claiming to have seen a lot) don't know anything about.
Some of the more silly and low-key outrageous moments are matched with the sweeter touches of Temple's scene and a little moment involving an ice skater. Moments like these create a rhythm that is strong, and sometimes lacking in some of the more generally slapstick shorts. This could even be considered like a mild grandfather to humor later seen in the Critic on TV. The conclusion is a great one, displaying it as one of the earliest, and successful, cartoons to make fun of itself. Is Donald Duck as popular as Garbo or Charlie McCarthey?
A Walt Disney DONALD DUCK Cartoon.
Donald THE AUTOGRAPH HOUND attempts to find celebrities at mammoth Hollywood Studios - if the security guard doesn't throw him out first.
This very enjoyable little film was Walt's sly way of reminding the rest of the Industry that his creations - in this case Donald - were as popular as any of the flesh & blood stars. It's interesting that the animators seemingly go out of their way to make Mickey Rooney appear like a bullying punk. Clarence Nash provides Donald with his unique voice.
At the end of the cartoon a host of caricatured celebrities flood across the screen, making them exceedingly difficult to identify. For the record, here are all the stars depicted in order of appearance: Greta Garbo, Mickey Rooney, Sonja Henie, the Ritz Brothers, Shirley Temple, Clark Gable (with Garbo), Charlie McCarthy, Stepin Fetchit, Roland Young, Joe E. Brown, Martha Raye, Hugh Herbert, Irvin S. Cobb, Edward Arnold, Katharine Hepburn, Eddie Cantor, Slim Summerville, Lionel Barrymore, Bette Davis, Groucho & Harpo Marx, Mischa Auer, Joan Crawford & Charles Boyer (still dressed for his role as Napoleon in CONQUEST, 1937).
Walt Disney (1901-1966) was always intrigued by pictures & drawings. As a lad in Marceline, Missouri, he sketched farm animals on scraps of paper; later, as an ambulance driver in France during the First World War, he drew comic figures on the sides of his vehicle. Back in Kansas City, along with artist Ub Iwerks, Walt developed a primitive animation studio that provided animated commercials and tiny cartoons for the local movie theaters. Always the innovator, his ALICE IN CARTOONLAND series broke ground in placing a live figure in a cartoon universe. Business reversals sent Disney & Iwerks to Hollywood in 1923, where Walt's older brother Roy became his lifelong business manager & counselor. When a mildly successful series with Oswald The Lucky Rabbit was snatched away by the distributor, the character of Mickey Mouse sprung into Walt's imagination, ensuring Disney's immortality. The happy arrival of sound technology made Mickey's screen debut, STEAMBOAT WILLIE (1928), a tremendous audience success with its use of synchronized music. The SILLY SYMPHONIES soon appeared, and Walt's growing crew of marvelously talented animators were quickly conquering new territory with full color, illusions of depth and radical advancements in personality development, an arena in which Walt's genius was unbeatable. Mickey's feisty, naughty behavior had captured millions of fans, but he was soon to be joined by other animated companions: temperamental Donald Duck, intellectually-challenged Goofy and energetic Pluto. All this was in preparation for Walt's grandest dream - feature length animated films. Against a blizzard of doomsayers, Walt persevered and over the next decades delighted children of all ages with the adventures of Snow White, Pinocchio, Dumbo, Bambi & Peter Pan. Walt never forgot that his fortunes were all started by a mouse, or that childlike simplicity of message and lots of hard work will always pay off.
I taped this short along with 26 other Donald Duck cartoons off the Disney Channel. I thought it was hilarious. One scene that I laughed at was where Donald asks Mickey Rooney for an autograph. Rooney signs Donald's autograph book and does a magic trick, putting the book in Donald's suit. Donald then decides to do a magic trick of his own. He picks up an egg and puts it in his hat. Rooney says, "Could it be here?" and smacks Donald's head. Donald gets pretty mad, which causes his head to become hot and the egg to cook. Rooney then says, "I'll take mine over easy!" and flips it over. Donald begins throwing a fit and Rooney places a fiddle in his hands. Donald accidentally plays an Irish jig and Rooney dances to it. I could really identify quite a few of the stars like Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh who were no doubt in the process of making "Gone With the Wind." I wonder if this cartoon was played before that movie.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
DISPLAYING THE MOST incredible level of improvement In the level and
quality of the Animation Art, Walt Disney Studios went to the well for
at least one more time to give us yet another fanciful journey into
what Hollywood looks like to the cartoonist. Hearkening back just a
brief 3 to 5 years, when we saw the likes of MICKEY'S GALA PREMIER
(1934) and MICKEY'S POLO TEAM (1936), we have at least a clue to what
surely was the obvious inspiration to this Donald Duck starring
vehicle, THE AUTOGRAPH HOUND (1939).
FOR ALL THREE of these cartoon shorts have one element at their very core. They are built around the popularity of the movies and their stars. Bringing them together under one roof would be impossible; what with their being under exclusive contract to the various studios. So, Mr. Disney did it by way of the art of caricature* and voice impersonation.
BUT AS WE have previously alluded to, the incredible improvement in backgrounds, character design, animation and color work is an irrefutable bit of evidence to the ongoing art education and technical advances that were and are the hallmark of all that is Disney.
AS FOR OUR 7 or so minutes of story, it is straight forward enough and non-complicated. The "autograph hound" in question, Donald, has a series of ongoing run in gags with the private gate guard at a Hollywood Studio. Mr. Duck, you see, is a fervent movie fan; who will not take "No" for an answer when it comes to his autograph book.
THE PARADE OF encounters with the security guard (voiced by veteran screen comedian, Billy Bletcher) are punctuated by the appearance of a multitude of Hollywood's best, in character cartoon form of course. We see: Greta Garbo, Clark Gable, Mickey Rooney, Katherine Hepburn, Charlie McCarthy, the Ritz Brothers, Hugh Herbert, the Marx Brothers, Lincoln Perry(Stepin Fetchit) and Shirley Temple.**
THE STORY MAKES a perfectly symmetrical journey from the beginning to end with the recognition of one additional Movie Celebrity.
IN ADDITION TO its being another in the line of Disney Animated Sorts to use both caricature and Hollywood itself as a backdrop, there is one other element that is very telling; if not as obvious at first. Whereas the previously released cartoons with those movie star characters were starring vehicles for Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck was chosen to be the star of this one. And, my dear Schultz, just what would this seem to be telling us?
WELL,WE BELIEVE that it was an indication that perhaps the Mouse who started it all was slipping a little and the Duck's star was rapidly on the rise!
NOTE: * It was the famous cartoonist, Al Hirschfeld, who said he preferred the term"character drawing" over the word caricature.
NOTE: ** In this outstanding send up of the Movie Colony, not only were appearance and voice considered important and essential elements of the cartoon's recreation of likeness to star; but also attention was given to the mimicking of mannerisms and personality. Our case in point is the cartoon's representation of Mickey Rooney.
This has everything I love about Donald Duck and his cartoons and more. Donald as always is great fun, still with his trademark cantankerous personality but there is still something endearing about him. The story is one of the most original of his cartoons, it is well paced and I loved the celebrity (caricatures?) of Shirley Temple, "Mickey Rooney", Bette Davis, the Ritz Brothers, Lionel Barrymore, The Andrews Sisters, Greta Garbo, Clark Gable and Groucho and Harpo Marx(among others). The gags are very imaginative and wonderfully timed, especially the three tricks "Mickey Rooney" plays on Donald(the one with the egg was the best one) and the Ritz Brothers writing their group name on Donald's bottom. The animation is clean and vibrant, and the music is typically energetic. The voice work is spot on as well. Overall, one of Donald's best cartoons in my opinion. 10/10 Bethany Cox
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I love this short! Somebody mentioned that this one lacks much of a
plot, but to me it doesn't really need one. It's just Donald simply
trying to get autographs and being chased around the studio the whole
time. I love the caricatures of celebrities; it has a very stylized
look. It's cute when Donald comes upon Sonia Henning and she skates an
autograph...which Donald proceeds to cut out of the ice and carry on
his back! I also love the steps which Donald takes to outwit the
security guard. One of my favorites has to be when Donald hides in the
large serving dish and the guard asks what's inside, the chef says
"rroast-a biff", the guard asks "roast beef?", then Donald pops out and
says "Yeah, rroast-a biff...flatfoot!". It's just so zany, and almost
Warner Brothers like. In fact, there was a VERY similar Daffy Duck
short in which he tries to sneak into the studio lot, and is also
chased by the guard.
All-in-all, I think this is one of the more unique Donald Duck shorts, and I'm glad it's available on DVD.
Donald sneaks into a movie studio to get autographs from all his
favorite stars in a big book. At first the stereotypical Irish cop
chucks him out but Donald outwits him and seeks signatures from the
likes of Mickey Rooney (who is still alive), Greta Garbo, Shirely
Temple (who is also still alive) and others. But as soon as all the big
stars in the studio find out Donald is in the midst they all hound him
and he drowns in their own autographs books.
A simple idea and a weak plot and it's got those freaky-looking caricatures of real people again but I did find this funnier than usual.
|Plot summary||Ratings||Plot keywords|
|Main details||Your user reviews||Your vote history|