The Village Smithy
Studio: Disney Release Date : January 16, 1942 Series: Donald Duck
Cumulative rating:
(1 rating submitted)

Synopsis

Donald's patience, as a local blacksmith, is put to the test when he attempts to shoe Jenny, a donkey.
(See below)

Characters

Donald Duck
(Voice: Clarence "Ducky" Nash)

Credits

Note: "Unverified" credits may not be correct and should be taken with a grain of salt.

Director

Dick Lundy (unverified)

Animator

Ted Bonnicksen (unverified)
Robert W. "Bob" Carlson Jr. (unverified)
Walter "Walt" Clinton (unverified)
John Elliotte (unverified)
Frank McSavage (unverified)

Story

Carl Barks (unverified)

Asst. Director

Ted Baker (unverified)

Producer

Walter Elias "Walt" Disney


Distributor(s)

RKO Radio Pictures

Television

The Mickey Mouse Club (Season 2, Episode 25)

VHS

Germany

Donald 50 Verrückte Jahre

France

Bon Anniversaire Donald

Italy

I 50 Anni Folli di Paperino

Laserdisc (CLV)

Japan

A Walt Disney Christmas
Donald Duck's 50 Crazy Years

DVD

United States

The Chronological Donald: Volume 2: 1942-1946

Germany

Disney Treasures : Wave 5 : The Chronological Donald Volume 2

Technical Specifications

Running Time: 7:15
MPAA No.: 6792
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 Format: Spherical
Original Language: English
Original Country: United States

Reviews and Comments

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From Ryan :

This is one of my favorite Disney shorts. I enjoyed the part where Donald kept trying to shoe Jenny. The ending, although it can be funny, somewhat makes you feel empathy for poor Donald when he's caught on a vice.

From Baruch Weiss :

This Donald Duck cartoon is a good one. I enjoy the scene where he takes one of the wheels and dances in it to a folk dance and Mendelsson's "Spring Song."

From Ryan Kilpatrick at The Disney Film Project :

The war is over! Okay, not really, but after what seemed like non-stop WWII shorts, we’re back to a regular Donald Duck short with The Village Smithy. It’s a classic Donald formula, where our main duck has to deal with a situation that drive him to distraction. In this case, it’s two situations.

The opening of this short is a great gag, that sets the tone for the comedy to come in the short. We see the blacksmith shop from a distance, and the shadow of a well built, muscular blacksmith on the wall. As the camera zooms in closer, then pans over, it’s revealed that the blacksmith is Donald, who then hammers his own hand.

Just that quick sequence at the beginning of the short sums up the entire premise – being a blacksmith is a tough, physical job, and Donald might not be up for it. That is borne out when Donald attempts the first task, to fix the rim of a wheel. It’s very difficult for him, to say the least.

This sequence calls back to the part of Clock Cleaners where Donald was fighting with the springs in the clock. It’s very similar, because here it’s the rim of the wheel, which bends and springs up after him. That said, it’s not quite as funny as Clock Cleaners, because the rim doesn’t “talk” to Donald the way the spring did.

Where this short kicks into high gear is when Donald has to try and put a shoe on Jenny, the stubborn mule. Although Jenny comes off as cute, she is definitely a handful, refusing to let Donald near her. The funny part is the contortions that Donald has to try and go through to get to Jenny. He bends over between his legs, uses stools, steam and more to try and get to her.

The fun is not so much Jenny as it is what Donald is doing. He gets frustrated, like always, but never quite to the stomping mad level he has displayed in the past. It’s interesting, because we’ve seen Donald at his absolute worst, and this is a more measured duck.

The Village Smithy would not make my top ten of Donald Duck shorts, but it’s a very entertaining one, nonetheless. By having Donald juxtaposed with such a heavy, manual labor job, the comedy comes naturally.