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If you think Donald's hard to understand, try listening to Disney director
Jack Hannah's other specialty, chipmunks Chip and Dale. Sometimes I can't
make out a single word they say, sometimes I can make out about half of
them; it depends on the current state of my brain, not on the particular
cartoon. This feature of Disney cartoons (Hannah's especially) is one of
the things that make them, at their best, great. It's like silent comedy
which we can hear (but not understand) what the people are saying. And
chipmunk's rapid-fire, chirpy voices ensure that they remain, at least
partly, animals, and not human beings with a furry appearance.
This exceptionally funny confrontation between Donald and the chipmunks is made even greater than other such encounters (equally funny) by its profusion of stylised backgrounds. The treetop is a confusing three-dimensional labyrinth (apart from the fact that one cannot become trapped) of branches and foliage. This is reflected not just in some particular backgrounds but by the fact that there's always a DIFFERENT background. There's also a remarkable amount of variety in KINDS of backgrounds, within a unified style. Character animation is superb, the gags are amusing, apt, and crisply timed ... but all this goes without saying.
I just love Up a Tree. I do like the Donald Duck vs. Chip 'n' Dale cartoons very much, and this is one of my favourites of theirs alongside Working for Peanuts and All in a Nutshell. Donald is as cantankerous yet likable as he ever was, a worthy foil for the cute and antagonistic chipmunks Chip 'n' Dale. I loved also how the tree was almost a character itself, almost like a labyrinth. The animation has a lot of vibrancy and detail, and the music has a lot of energy. The story is a tad routine, but still crisply paced and entertaining, while the gags come by thick and fast and are spot on every time. The ending is especially delightful. All in all, just great. 10/10 Bethany Cox
A Walt Disney DONALD DUCK Cartoon.
Logger Donald finds himself UP A TREE after he attempts to cut down Chip 'n' Dale's home.
Here is another routine Duck versus Chipmunks film, but the antagonists are always a pleasure to watch. Clarence "Ducky" Nash supplies Donald's voice; the Chipmunks are often unintelligible.
Walt Disney (1901-1966) was always intrigued by 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 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, Bambi, Peter Pan and Mr. Toad. Walt never forgot that his fortunes were all started by a mouse, or that simplicity of message and lots of hard work always pay off.
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