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Donald and the Wheel (1961)

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A father tells his son the invention of the wheel was most important; to prove it, the two hipsters visit the inventor caveman Donald Duck. There follows a survey of the progress of ... See full summary »


(as Hamilton S. Luske)


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Title: Donald and the Wheel (1961)

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Credited cast:
Bill Cole ...
(voice) (as The Mellomen)
Bill Lee ...
(voice) (as The Mellomen)
Thurl Ravenscroft ...
Spirit of Progress, Senior (voice) (as The Mellomen)
Max Smith ...
Spirit of Progress, Junior (voice) (as The Mellomen)


A father tells his son the invention of the wheel was most important; to prove it, the two hipsters visit the inventor caveman Donald Duck. There follows a survey of the progress of transportation, a digression into the basics of gear ratios, a series of live-action dancers to various styles of music inside a giant jukebox, an illustration of the use of wheels in power generation and space satellites, etc. Ultimately, Donald decides he doesn't want the responsibility, but certainly someone else would take on the task. Written by Jon Reeves <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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Release Date:

21 June 1961 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Aku Ankka ja pyörä  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)


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Featured in The Mouse Factory: Wheels (1973) See more »

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User Reviews

Wheels For Progress
21 October 2002 | by (Forest Ranch, CA) – See all my reviews

A Walt Disney Cartoon

The Spirits of Progress, father & son, fill us in on some important cultural history as they reveal the story of DONALD AND THE WHEEL.

This Disney educational two-reeler short is an excellent way to get a somewhat complicated (and potentially tedious) idea across to an audience: the overwhelming importance of the wheel and its unavoidable presence in daily life. The story is told in humorous rhyme, the animation is varied & interesting and Donald Duck is the perfect subject to be taught the valuable lessons. Look for a very brief cameo from Daisy. Donald's unique voice is supplied by Clarence "Ducky" Nash; Thurl Ravenscroft, with his basso profundo, does the honors for the Spirit of Progress, Senior.

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, Dumbo, Bambi & Peter Pan. 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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