Mr. Duck Steps Out (1940)
User ReviewsReview this title
Donald's trip to Daisy's house is spoiled when his nephews insist on tagging along. He tries, and fails, to rid them with an ice cream bribe. Instead they manage to make him swallow a load of corn that is in the middle of popping which sends him on a wild, spastic jitterbug dance around the living room, which Daisy mistakes for genuine dancing talent.
At least he ends up impressing her and getting kisses.
When MR. DUCK STEPS OUT for a romantic afternoon with Daisy he finds his Nephews have beat him there.
Some furious jitterbugging and a terrific jazz soundtrack enliven this well-animated little film. This was Daisy's second appearance in a cartoon and the first time her name was used. Clarence "Ducky" Nash provided the voices for all five fowls.
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.
Director: JACK KING. Screenplay: Carl Barks. Voices: Clarence Nash. Color by Technicolor. RCA Sound System. Producer: Walt Disney.
Copyright 4 April 1940 by Walt Disney Productions. A Walt Disney "Donald Duck" cartoon, released through RKO Radio Pictures. 1 reel. 8 minutes.
COMMENT: The title is a nice pun. Donald steps out to see Daisy, but he gets no further than Daisy's house where they do a lot of stepping to dance music - some of it ingeniously provided by the Don's not over-welcome nephews.
If you like the bland and somewhat mild early 1940s style of swing and jitterbugging, this is definitely a cartoon not to be missed. The music never stops. Laughs take a definite second place to the score.
But as usual with Disney, the colors are bright and technical credits ultra smooth.
I am surprised by the suggestive tail wagging from Daisy. Otherwise, it's a fun little family friendly cartoon short with Donald. The nephews are less annoying than usual since they eventually get Donald together with Daisy for a happy ending. It's not one of the icons but it's very solid.
The popcorn popping in Donald's tummy, causing him to dance wildly with Daisy while the nephews play on instruments is definitely the highlight of the cartoon. There's toe-tapping music and non-stop dancing from start to finish - great fun here!