Sea Salts (1949)
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Elderly SEA SALTS Donald Duck & "Mac" Bootle Beetle have shared many seafaring adventures - especially when they were castaway on a deserted island back in 1926...
Although the animation in this little film is routine, the story is still quite engaging, showing, as it does, the affectionate bond between The Duck & The Bug. This was the second of only three cartoons to feature the Bootle Beetle; his popularity never caught fire and stardom remained an elusive dream. Clarence "Ducky" Nash supplies the voice for Donald.
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.
Donald was pretty crafty in this one, always seemingly cheating Bootle out of his rations share, and then using him as bait for fishing. But, Donald does show his true friendship with the beetle when he brings him on board a raft in order to be rescued by a passing ship.
The animation is this short is full of color and splendor and the plot of the story takes us away from the more conventional and cliché Donald Duck shorts. Most importantly, Donald doesn't get the brunt of all the bad luck in the story and he seemingly ended up quite well at the cartoon's climax, aging gracefully and still spending time with Bootle.
It's a different Donald Duck cartoon, especially due to us seeing Donald at an "old age" for the first time I think, but it's a touching cartoon with a Donald free of any bad luck!