Home Defense
Studio: Disney Release Date : November 26, 1943 Series: Donald Duck Cartoon
  1. General Info

Cumulative rating: No Ratings Posted     

Synopsis

Donald mans his listening post while his three nephews wait in readiness to attack the enemy. But chaos breaks out when the enemy turns out to be nothing more than a wandering bee.

Characters

Donald Duck
(Voice: Clarence "Ducky" Nash)
Huey
Dewy
Louie

Credits

Director

James Patton "Jack" King

Animator

Paul Allen
William "Bill" Justice
Hal King
Dick Lundy
Charles A. Nichols
Ray Patterson
Harvey Toombs

Story

Carl Barks
Jack Hannah

Producer

Walter Elias "Walt" Disney

Distributor(s)

RKO Radio Pictures

Cut Scenes

Some gun scenes have been cut out of this short.

Television

The Mickey Mouse Club (Season 3, Episode 10)

Video Information

VHS

United States

Cartoon Classics : Limited Gold Editions II : An Officer and a Duck

Laserdisc (CLV)

United States

Cartoon Classics : Limited Gold Editions II : An Officer and a Duck
Winnie the Pooh and Friends

DVD

United States

The Chronological Donald: Volume 2: 1942-1946
Disney Treasures : On the Front Lines

Germany

Disney Treasures : Wave 5 : The Chronological Donald Volume 2

Technical Specifications

MPAA No.: 8739
Production No.: 4312
Running time: 7:47
Animation Type: Standard (Hand-drawn-Cel) Animation
Aspect Ratio: 1.37 : 1
Color Type: Technicolor
Sound Type: Mono: RCA Sound Recording
Print Type: 35mm
Negative Type: 35mm
Cinematographic Type: Spherical
Original Language: English
Country of origin: United States

Reviews and Comments

From Jerry Edwards :

When Donald Duck, a civilian war aircraft spotter, falls asleep at this post, his nephews trick him by launching a toy plane and toy parachutists. Donald also has misadventures when he thinks that a bee, as amplified by his listening device, is an enemy warship and ends up shooting his own listening post.

On the surface, this is just another typical Donald conflict with his nephews. But the war propaganda moral shines through - Donald should have been alert at his post at all times.


From Ryan :

This time instead of Pete being the co-star, it's Huey, Dewey, and Louie. I enjoyed the part where the nephews play a trick on their uncle Donald by flying a toy plane into the sky that they put gingerbread figures in. When Donald wakes up and sees this, he prepares to fire, but then sees the gingerbread men (which he thinks are the enemy soldiers)parachuting out of the plane, he ducks down in a flower patch and surrenders. He then sees it's only a gingerbread man and sees his nephews shooting off guns. This scene is censored on the "Ink and Paint Club", but I saw it on the "Mickey Mouse Club" so I guess I should have taped it from that show rather than the "Ink and Paint Club (even though the "Mickey Mouse Club" version is black and white)."

From Baruch Weiss :

This is the only wartime cartoon that has Donald's three nephews in it. It was ok, but again nothing to write home about.

From Alex Komar :

Also cut out were references to the Japanese army during WWII.

From Ryan Kilpatrick at The Disney Film Project :

So far in the wartime shorts, we have seen quite a bit of military and foreign action. Donald has gone off and joined the Army, and we have seen how he has gotten into trouble with Pete. We’ve seen the propaganda shorts bashing Hitler and Germany. But there has been only one that dealt with the homefront – Victory Vehicles. Now, you can add Home Defense to that list.

Home Defense adds a dimension to the war at home that we have not seen so far – that of the watch commander or listening post. During World War II, there were citizens who would listen for attacks that might be coming. In this short, Donald Duck is one of those citizens, with the able assistance of his nephews, Huey, Dewey and Louie.

This short follows in the best traditions of Donald and his nephews cartoons, with the boys causing mischief for Donald, followed by Donald overreacting. Any good Donald short features Donald losing his mind, so this one is no different. In this case, however, it’s poking gentle fun at the listening post idea, and at the war itself.

Donald is spending his time at this listening post with the boys, when he accidentally awakens them. To get him back, the boys launch a toy plane and stuff it with cutout soldiers with parachutes. Donald reacts as though it’s real, and pulls out the guns to shoot the plane down and release the parachuters.

Then, when the ruse is discovered, Donald strips the boys of their rank and casts them off. This bit is very nicely done, as it foreshadows the end of the short. That is one thing that was missing from previous 1943 efforts, is the story consistency we saw in some of the earlier Disney efforts, especially Donald Duck cartoons.

The inevitable resolution here is that Donald needs the boys to deal with a real crisis, right? Instead, the comedic choice is to get Donald all worked up about another false threat, in this case a bee. The bee manages to get into Donald’s listening apparatus, which causes the duck to imagine all sorts of doomsday scenarios.

Frantic animation of the highest quality follows, as the boys are recalled, Donald sews their badges back on and in the end, a cannon is fired into Donald’s listening equipment. This climactic part of the short is very well done, with quick bursts of movement and racheting up the tension until we get to the end, when everything blows up.

Home Defense is a funny short not only for that, but because of the subtle satire of making fun of the listening posts. There were definitely those in America who thought the listening posts were a waste of time, since the war was in Europe. This short took some of their criticisms and put them on display. Whether that was intentional or not, it makes for a good, funny Disney cartoon.


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Animation Drawing
Submitted by ToonStar95


Screenshots

Submitted by eutychus


History

9/12/2012

  • Home video info added by eutychus

10/2/2012

  • Screenshots added by eutychus

8/29/2014

  • Animation type added by eutychus
  • Color type added by eutychus
  • Sound type added by eutychus

10/18/2016

  • Credits added by kintutoons32
  • MPAA Number added by kintutoons32

6/14/2017

  • Credits added by kintutoons32

6/22/2017

  • Television info added by eutychus

1/15/2018

    4/28/2018

      5/25/2018

      • Gallery items added
      • ToonStar95

      Sources

      James Patton "Jack" King: Director
      • Unverified

      Carl Barks: Story
      • Unverified

      Jack Hannah: Story
      • Unverified

      Paul Allen: Animator
      • Unverified

      William "Bill" Justice: Animator
      • Verified by IMDb (not always reliable)

      Hal King: Animator
      • Verified by IMDb (not always reliable)

      Dick Lundy: Animator
      • Verified by onscreen credits (not always reliable)

      Charles A. Nichols: Animator
      • Verified by onscreen credits (not always reliable)

      Ray Patterson: Animator
      • Unverified

      Harvey Toombs: Animator
      • Verified by IMDb (not always reliable)

      Walter Elias "Walt" Disney: Producer
      • Verified by onscreen credits (not always reliable)