Saturday, February 8, 2014


RELEASE DATE: Thursday 15th April 1938

SYNOPSIS: Donald's twin sister, Dumbella Duck, sends her three "angel" children over to visit their uncle. How much trouble could these three little darlings get up to...?
This cartoon marks the very first appearance of Huey, Dewey and Louie on film, although they had appeared in comic books a number of months earlier. Apparently their stay with Donald was originally to be a temporary arrangement while their father was in hospital. For some unexplained reason, Donald eventually became the full-time guardian. But this cartoon shows what happened on their first visit to Unca Donald.

JOHN DARLING: Dewey's clothes are supposed to be BLUE, not orange!

IRVYNE: Maybe his blue shirt was in the wash that day. It's interesting to see the letter from Dumbella Duck at the start of the cartoon. Donald's sister is a real character (she's been in comic books before) but she has never featured in any of the Disney cartoons. Does that seem a bit weird to anybody else? These kids have parents, but in the 80 or so years that the cartoons have been around, Dumbella (or "Della" as she's also called) is just M.I.A!

MALEFICENT: Probably because she's got a stupid name!

MERRYWEATHER: But she has beautiful handwriting.

IRVYNE: And lovely children that she wants to palm off to whoever will take them!

PASCAL: "Angels without wings." Ha!

MICHAEL DARLING: Is her brother Uncle Scrooge?

MALEFICENT: No no, I'm pretty sure Uncle Scrooge is Donald and Dumbella's mother's brother.

IRVYNE: Scrooge McDuck is Donald's uncle. That makes him Huey, Dewey and Louie's GREAT uncle. Pretty sure that's right. We need a duck family tree here!

MICHAEL DARLING: What about Webby?

IRVYNE: Webby's the granddaughter of Mrs. Beakley, Scrooge's nanny. She's not a relation. Unless one day she grows up to marry one of the boys, I dunno...  Meanwhile, back to the cartoon, I've never seen such a violent game of croquet!

MUSHU: It was polo, wasn't it? Only they weren't on horses, they were on tricycles.

WENDY: It's lucky Donald had that Modern Child Training book on his shelf! I wonder why he happened to own that!

IRVYNE: Because Walt Disney put it there!

MERRYWEATHER: Did anyone else find it disturbing that the ducks were eating a chicken?

PASCAL: Cannibalism!

MALEFICENT: No! That's not cannibalism. They're ducks.

IRVYNE: It all seems a bit fowl to me! HA!
You know, something I just began to wonder, that I've never wondered before... I wonder if the animators had a set model of what Donald's house looks like. It features in a lot of his cartoons. I'll keep and eye out and see if it changes much or if they use the same backgrounds and templates.
At any rate, even though Donald's nephews are naughty little boys, they're very good at playing musical instruments.

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