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More Bootle Beetle than Donald Duck but nicely done all the same

Author: TheLittleSongbird from United Kingdom
30 March 2013

I've always loved Disney, and the Bootle Beetle/Donald Duck collaborations are entertaining in their own right without being among the best Disney ever made. The Greener Yard is nice and solid, but the feeling that Disney has done better is there and doesn't shake off. Looking at a full list of Donald Duck's shorts I naturally assumed that he would get top billing. This was however misleading, as Donald here gets only two and a half minutes of screen time, which I'd say is about a third of the short. Bootle Beetle, in elderly form, is actually the primary character here, and he is engaging enough and the chemistry between him and his grandson is sweet but for me Bootle works better pitted against a stronger character(ie. Donald). The story is cute and likable, though a little routine and nothing out of the ordinary happens. There are also moments that are amusing but the material never quite reaches hilarious. The animation is lovely though, beautifully coloured and very fluid. The music is wistful and full of character, and the short overall is very sweet, as with a lot of stories with reminisicising. It also has a good important message, of always being content with what you have, that is delivered simply but never heavy-handedly. Donald may not be in The Greener Yard much and it is not an appearance that plays to his personality as much as other shorts of his but he is still memorable just by being the charismatic and funny character he always has been. The voice work is well-expressed and dynamic. All in all, nicely done though not what you expect. 7/10 Bethany Cox

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A Bug's Tale

Author: Ron Oliver ( from Forest Ranch, CA
30 March 2003

A Walt Disney DONALD DUCK Cartoon.

Elderly Bootle Beetle recalls the time in his youth when he rashly ventured into THE GREENER YARD belonging to Donald Duck.

This humorous little film marked the third and final appearance of the Bootle Beetle in a Disney cartoon, following BOOTLE BEETLE (1947) and SEA SALTS (1949). Although cute & appealing, the wee bug never caught on with the public. Clarence Nash provides Donald with his unique voice, while Dink Trout does the honors for the Beetle.

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 always pay off.

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