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As a great fan of Disney and Donald Duck I thought I'd check out Spare the Rod, not knowing anything about what I'd expect. The cartoon is pretty good, but it really isn't one of Donald's best. Donald himself is not the problem, he is just great doing what he does best which is being temperamental and getting easily frustrated. Huey, Duey and Louie are cute and rascally as they always were. The animation still looks beautiful and crisp, and the music, which has always played a bit part in the Disney(and Looney Tunes and Tom and Jerry cartoons as well) shorts, is typically energetic, enhancing the action and ensuring that the pace doesn't flag. And generally flag it does not. The gags are clever and fun too, and the voice of psychology was interesting and very funny. On the other hand, the cannibals are blatant racial stereotypes, by all means this is not the only Disney cartoon to have this, though they were made about 10 to 15 years earlier, but Spare the Rod is one of the worst cases for it. The premise is also a little weak for my tastes, I never did buy that Donald genuinely thought that it was his nephews as the cannibals seeing how authentic the costumes actually looked. All in all interesting but could have been more for me. If you do intend to see it, I suggest you avoid the censored version, which butchers the short beyond recognition that less than half of it is still intact, considering the subject matter of Spare the Rod there was no point. 7/10 Bethany Cox
A Walt Disney DONALD DUCK Cartoon.
Donald receives compelling advice to SPARE THE ROD in dealing with his Nephews' bad behavior and, instead, join in their games.
Here is another little film in which Donald matches wits with Huey, Dewey & Louie - a plot line which Disney had been using for the better part of two decades at this point. Even so, it's fairly entertaining, largely due to Donald's never boring personality. Clarence Nash provides the voices for the entire Duck clan.
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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