Put-Put Troubles
Studio: Disney Release Date : July 19, 1940 Series: Donald Duck

Cumulative rating:
(1 rating submitted)


Donald and Pluto go boating; but while Donald tries to get the outboard motor started, Pluto has his own problems with a spring coil.


Donald Duck
(Voice: Clarence "Ducky" Nash)

Clips Used In:

Buyer Be Wise

Reused Animation Used in:

Chips Ahoy (Animation of Donald starting his motorboat.)


Mickey Mouse Tracks (Season 1, Episode 38)
Donald's Quack Attack (Season 1, Episode 34)
The Mickey Mouse Club (Season 2, Episode 29)



Donald Ich bin der Größte
Pluto Präsentiert


Donald Vedette de Television


La Storia de Paperino

Laserdisc (CLV)


Merry Christmas
This is Your Life Donald Duck


United States

The Chronological Donald: Volume 1: 1934-1941


Disney Treasures : Wave 3 : The Chronological Donald Volume 1


Disney Treasures : Wave 3 : The Chronological Donald Volume 1

United Kingdom

Disney Treasures : Wave 3 : The Chronological Donald Volume 1


Disney Treasures : Wave 3 : The Chronological Donald Volume 1

Netherlands / Belgium

The Chronological Donald: Volume Eén: 1934-1941

Technical Specifications

Running Time: 7:26
Animation Type: Standard (Hand-drawn-Cel) Animation
Aspect Ratio: 1.37 : 1
Cinematographic Format: Spherical
Color Type: Technicolor
Negative Type: 35mm
Original Country: United States
Original Language: English
Print Type: 35mm
Sound Type: Mono: RCA Sound Recording

Reviews and Comments

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From Ryan :

This short was good in the sense of Donald's trouble with the motor, but seeing Pluto continuously getting caught up in the spring gets boring for me.

From Trae Robinson :

There is a scene I found funny where the boat backfires and the smoke goes on Donald making him look like a convict is goofy.

From Baruch Weiss :

I will start off by saying that there is a wonderful musical score during the title presentation of this cartoon as has been the case with many of the various Disney short subjects that I have commented on and that goes for the music throughout the cartoon. Anyway back to the short. I enjoyed several gags in this cartoon such as when the coil turns into an African neckpiece for Pluto, the scene where Pluto gets tangled in the coil some more and does a Russian folk dance then a Scottish one and the finale where Pluto is dragged surf board style and in the end, ends up wearing Donald's Hat and Donald ends up wearing the motor.

From Ross :

This is a wonderful Disney cartoon from 1940, featuring Donald Duck and Pluto. There's not much I can tell you about this short, but the gags are definitely silly, such as Donald trying to start the outboard motor, and Pluto getting caught in the spring coil. The end results of Donald looking like a jail convict, and Pluto dancing a Russian kicking dance and a Scottish jig are also very funny as well. Two other end results are quite funny, but very racist, and I'm surprised these scenes weren't cut on TV. They are the scenes when the spring coil wraps around Pluto's neck, making him look like an duck-lipped African Zulu native wearing an African neckpiece, and when Pluto surfs through some bulrushes, the water reeds all around him make him look like an American Indian chief, with Indian tribal music to match the joke.

From Ryan Kilpatrick at The Disney Film Project :

I think you are absolutely right about that, with one exception - the trio shorts work well, because they move quicker and have more scenes of each of the three main characters.

Knowing that this was two shorts put together makes a lot of sense. It just doesn't flow well, so knowing that it's two shorts merged makes a lot of sense.

From David Gerstein at Ramapith :

Here's a theory: Donald and Pluto would work better—as would Donald and Goofy, or Mickey and Pluto, or any other team—if they actually behaved as a team a little more. Disney "team-up" cartoons actually seem to be excuses—all the way down the line—to put each character in a solo bit of business, the only advantage of the team being that you're not stuck with the same solo star all through the picture.

Interestingly, Put Put Troubles began as two unrelated cartoons, "Pluto and the Springs" and "Donald's Outboard Motor." The two were both midway through animation when it was decided that neither was strong enough to stand on its own.

From Ryan Kilpatrick at The Disney Film Project :

Once again, we have Donald and Pluto paired up in a short. You would think at this point that Mickey might be getting jealous. I mean, when was the last short that he and Pluto were together in? But no, we continue with Donald and Pluto, as they try to start a boat in Put Put Troubles.

It’s not the most inspired short I’ve ever seen, just to be up front. There are basically two stories here – Pluto getting stuck with a spring coil on the beach and Donald trying to start the outboard motor on his boat. Neither of those on their own is very compelling, and when you put them together, they’re not all that scintillating.

That said, there are some really great individual gags in the short, they’re just small pieces scattered here and there, and not drivers of the story. One of the funniest comes early on when the spring collides with Pluto and ends up around his neck as a collar. It’s a sort of African/National Geographic picture that just made me laugh.

The other great gags actually come at the end of the short, when Donald manages to get the motor running, just in time to have it explode out of the water and drag him around. Pluto gets sucked in behind him, being dragged by a rope. This is where the gags come fast and furious, my favorite coming when Donald crosses a sandbar and “opens” it like a zipper, only to have Pluto cross and close it again.

Other than those two sequences, though, the rest of the short is rather slow moving, and doesn’t offer a lot of new ground. We’ve seen Pluto caught up in situations with something that befuddles him plenty of times. The spring is a new idea, but not new enough that it makes it all that great.

Again, Pluto seems to dominate the screen time, as he does in almost all the shorts he is in. Donald is relegated to a secondary role, trying to start the motor. The bits with the motor almost make it the main character, as it sputters and coughs and fights with Donald. We don’t get to see much of the trademark Donald frustration here, and that handcuffs the short a bit.

Put Put Troubles would not make my top ten list, obviously, but it does have some fun gags. Overall, though, I don’t think the Donald and Pluto pairing is working as well as Mickey and Pluto or Donald and Goofy. It will be interesting to see how that progresses.