The New Neighbor (1953) Poster

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One of dozens and dozens of unregarded classics produced by Disney
Spleen19 March 2002
Jack Hannah must be THE most underrated cartoon director of all time; in my estimation he is second only to Chuck Jones. In quality of output, that is. He MAY not have been as inherently talented as Tex Avery or even Friz Freleng (I must grit my teeth as I say this), but he had one inestimable advantage over them and all his other more highly regarded contemporaries: he worked for Disney, and so was allowed to direct the most rounded, passionate, comically inspired cartoon character of all time: Donald Duck.

Donald is not just, as popular belief would have it, someone who gets mad. He's someone with ungoverned, ungovernable passions, of which anger is just one: hunger, weariness, envy, spite, lust and love are some of the others. The humour comes (in part) from the fact that all along he thinks he's in control. And in fact, the resulting cartoons ARE more controlled. Donald does not break the laws of physics as often or as outrageously as Bugs Bunny does - he cannot pull a stick of dynamite out of nowhere just because it suits the plot - but when he DOES do the impossible, one feels the sheer force of his personality pushing him. It's like watching (and listening to) a jet as it crosses the sound barrier.

This cartoon proves my points as well as any other. It's one of Donald's and Hannah's very best. The 1950s could easily have been their finest decade together, if the economics of production hadn't cut Hannah's Disney career short in 1956. Very likely it WAS their finest decade even so. Even if "The New Neighbor" were the routine Donald outing you'd expect from reading a synopsis of the plot, which it isn't, the strength of Donald's character would be enough to make it funnier and more vibrant than the ritualised gaggery Warner Brothers was churning out at the time. -Except, that is, for the cartoons of Chuck Jones - another director who understood the value of building his humour on a strong foundation of character.
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Jack Hannah directs a very funny Donald Duck cartoon, in which the comic situation is expertly built up to a crashing finish
J. Spurlin14 July 2010
As the new neighbor on the block, Donald Duck tries to be courteous to Pete, the inconsiderate slob living next door. But there's only so much a guy can take. Pete dumps his garbage in Donald's flower bed, mooches every scrap of food from his refrigerator, steals all his dishes, tricks him into tasting his dog's food, borrows all his gardening tools, leaves the tools out in the rain, and more. Muncey, the dog who buries his bones in Donald's yard, is a co-conspirator in Pete's game of making Donald's life hell. Finally, the roiling conflict erupts into an all-out feud. The television news covers it like a sporting event as the neighbors gather on the roofs to watch and cheer them on.

Donald has a deserved reputation as a hothead, but no jury would convict him of being quick tempered in this cartoon, in which he does his level best to suffer Pete's rudeness, until it all becomes too much. Jack Hannah directs a very funny film, in which the comic situation is expertly built up to a crashing finish.
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Hugely entertaining Donald and Pete short
TheLittleSongbird7 April 2013
Having seen Pete often paired with Mickey, it was interesting to see Donald taking on Pete. And you can see this in The New Neighbor with hugely entertaining results. The story is crisp, with a situation that almost everybody will relate to, and never with a dull moment. And it also worked to Donald and Pete's trademark if contrastingly(to one another) different personalities perfectly, Donald is temperamental yet endearing and Pete is suitably dastardly and rude. The writing is very funny, with Donald and Pete each having good lines, and the gags helped by good timing likewise, seeing them go at it at the fence is just one part of the entertainment. The animation is smooth, beautifully drawn and colourful, and the music has much energy and character as well as having lush orchestration. Clarence Nash and Billy Bletcher are perfect as Donald and Pete.

Overall, highly recommended. 10/10 Bethany Cox
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Donald in a boxing match.
OllieSuave-0074 November 2015
Is this cartoon short, Donald moves into the new neighborhood and meets new neighbor Pete. He is nice at first but eventually takes advantage of Donald, eating his food, borrowing his tools and letting his dog dig in his backyard. Soon, it results in an all-out war between the neighbors and the entire community comes to watch, with the media broadcasting it like a boxing match.

It's a typical cartoon story made out to be too much like a boxing match. I thought the sportscaster was and looked annoying and the cartoon lacked the slapstick humor and charm found in more conventional Donald cartoons. Still, you will get a few chuckles here and there, especially where Donald turns the hose on Pete. The animation is good and still can't go around with Donald's classic frustration. But, it's more of an average Donald cartoon.

Grade C+
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The Duck Fights Back
Ron Oliver13 October 2002
A Walt Disney DONALD DUCK Cartoon.

As THE NEW NEIGHBOR on the block, Donald discovers he's living next door to the pestilential Pete.

This is a very humorous film, with the two neighbors engaged in an ever-escalating feud. The characters' personalities are perfectly suited to this kind of plot. Music mavens will recognize the tune Pete is humming as the theme from Disney's LAMBERT THE SHEEPISH LION (1952). Clarence "Ducky" Nash provides Donald's voice.

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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