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"This is Your Life, Donald Duck" is a 1960 comic story featuring Donald Duck. It is an adaptation of the animated TV special of the same name released the same year.[1]

Production

The title and format of this comic story are based on the reality documentary series This Is Your Life, broadcast on NBC radio from 1948 to 1952, and on NBC television from 1952 to 1961.

This comic story briefly shows Zorro on a portrait and Donald's nephews dress up as Zorro. This coincides with the fact that Disney's Zorro (1957–1959) had ended the previous year.

While the TV special covers Donald Duck's life by showing some reruns of previously produced cartoons, in this comic none of the cartoons are shown and different stories are used instead.

The story used in the chapter 4 of this comic is a remake of Carl Bark's "The Think Box Bollix" (1952), which was completely redrawn but most scenes and dialogue were left unchanged.

Plot

Opening

Zorro costumes

Huey, Dewey and Louie dressed as Zorro, to fetch their Uncle Donald. (the character Little Zorro was created later, based on this story)

Jiminy Cricket is hosting a television show and is set to interview Donald Duck with the story of his life. But alas, Donald is laying watching Jiminy on TV at home. Donald enjoys Jiminy's on-air breakdown, unaware that he was supposed to be interviewed. Jiminy sends Donald's nephews Huey, Dewey and Louie, the three dressed up as Zorro (the character Little Zorro was created decades later, based on this story), to fetch Donald and bring him to the studio. When Donald arrives at the studio, he is stunned about appearing on television and is put in a chair as Jiminy tells how Donald Duck he was a hot-tempered duckling from the day he was hatched.

Jiminy then invites his first guest to the stand, Grandma Duck, Donald's grandmother, to tell the first story. Grandma Duck is shown to be near-sighted: she hugs an image of Donald on a TV nearby and believes it to be him.

After that, five stories follow, numbered as "chapters".

Chapter 1

Baby Donald

Donald Duck as a hot-headed baby, with the habit of bashing his head on the ground.

In the story, Grandma Duck is raising the baby Donald Duck. The baby makes an habit of breaking objects and repeatedly bashing his head on the ground. Grandma Duck lets him play with the farm animals to see if this would calm him down, but this plan does not work. She makes a trip to Duckburg to see if Donald would prefer the city life. He is temporarily pleased when he loses his baby hat in the way to Duckburg, and Grandma Duck considers that maybe the trip is already curing him of his bad temper. However, in Duckburg, Donald sees a statue of a sailor and tries to get the statue's hat. He is unable to reach the hat, and as a result he starts angrily stomping his head, damaging the statue in the process. Grandma Duck has to see a judge because of the broken statue, but once the baby Donald starts trying to break objects in the tribunal, the judge drops all charges just to make him stop. The judge ironically suggests that the life in a farm might be good for him.

The baby Donald becomes interested in the blue hat of a sailor on a ship, and Grandma Duck visits the ship with him. Once again, Donald becomes furious because he can't get a sailor hat, and then repeatedly stomps his head on the floor. This causes an odd sound on the metal floor, and because of that the captain learns that the bottom floor of the ship was flooded all along, and he orders the sailor to pump the water out. Donald gets the blue sailor hat for himself when he has the chance, and the captain says that Donald saved the ship from sinking. Seeing that Donald is happy because of the new hat, Grandma Duck once again hopes to see his temper cured, but eventually she is shown back at the farm with the baby Donald, having accepted that he is going to be hot-headed for life. The only change was that Donald ceased the habit of stomping his head on the ground, because he does not want to damage his hat.

Chapter 2

Raft

The eight-year old Donald goes away with the newly-built raft.

In Jiminy's TV show, he invites Mickey and Goofy to tell the next story. They arrive with Pluto.

In the story, an eight-year old Donald is together with Mickey, Goofy as children and Pluto as a puppy. They have found some old planks, and are discussing what to do with them. Donald is angry at the others because they disagree with his idea: Donald wants to build a raft, but Mickey states that the majority — consisting of Mickey, Donald and Pluto — wants to build a tree house. Donald tricks them into building the raft by stating that they are going to build the ground of the treehouse first and then later place it on the tree. However, once the "floor of the treehouse" is built, Donald slides away with it through the grass and then rides the water with it, this using the wooden object as a raft. Mickey and Goofy warn him that he should have brought a stick to control the raft, and Donald sees that the current is hopelessly dragging him in the direction of a waterfall. Mickey covers his own eyes and Goofy waves goodbye at Donald. However, Donald lands safely on a tree, with the raft and all, effectively turning the wooden object into a treehouse. Mickey and Goofy commend Donald for getting a treehouse for them all. By sheer luck, the tree has a hole at the bottom where Pluto is happy to use as his house.

In Jiminy's TV show, he invites two more guests: Gladstone Gander arrives holding Daisy Duck's hand. This infuriates Donald because she is his girlfriend, but Gladstone tells him that he is merely leading her to the stage. Looking at the camera, Jiminy asks for the viewers to wait a moment while they make Donald sit back on the couch. Eventually, Donald is shown tied at the couch with ropes, still furious. Gladstone remarks how Donald was already jealous of him in high school, but Daisy decides to tell the story to avoid making Donald angry.

Chapter 3

Prom

Daisy is undecided about going to prom with Donald or Gladstone.

In the story, Donald and Daisy are high school students. Daisy is in her class finishing her work, and Donald is waiting for her, because he invited her to go eat ice cream with him. Gladstone, as another high school student, arrives and Daisy reveals that she was making a sweater for him. Daisy notices that Gladstone has two tickets to the prom, but Donald cuts the conversation. Donald says that Daisy is his girlfriend and therefore he is going to take her to the prom. Daisy, however, says that she is undecided about who is going to take her to the prom.

This surprises Donald, but Daisy says that he is not perfect, and that a girl has the right to choose. Donald urges Daisy not to be impressed at Gladstone's good performance in football, because Donald takes pride in breaking a record by squeezing six men in a trash basket. Both Daisy and the principal think that Donald's accomplishment does not qualify as a real sport. Donald tries fighting and fails. Then, he joins the football team, but he forgets to run with the ball, and is squeezed to the ground when many players throw themselves at him. Still in the football team, Donald is given a second chance, but once he sees all the players running in his direction again, Donald runs in the opposite direction extremely fast because of his fear of getting attacked again, and is condecorated as a racer. Donald is happy because he thinks that Daisy is going to the prom with him now, but then he overhears Gladstone talking with Daisy. Gladstone is driving a large car that he won in a contest, and he intends to take Daisy to the prom on it, while Donald only has an old bicycle.

Donald signs a contract to work for his Uncle Scrooge on all vacations until he graduates, and Scrooge gives him enough money to buy a car that is cheap, small, old and broken. After Donald repairs the car to some extent, he finds Daisy and Gladstone drinking milk shake together. Donald shows his car to Daisy and also tells her that he got a summer job. Daisy says that he has made some progress, but Gladstone points out that Donald still has a bad reputation because he broke that record of placing people in a trash basket. Daisy says that she still can't decide between Donald and Gladstone, so the two rivals talk about choosing a game to decide who is the winner. Gladstone suggests boxing, but Donald says that Gladstone would win by luck.

Tha famous singer Frank Swansong is nearby, surrounded by a large crowd of fans. Daisy says that the first one to get her Frank's autograph will win the right to get her to the prom. Both Donald and Gladstone seem to believe that this contest is impossible to win this contest by luck, and they seems to be right, because Gladstone gets lost in the crowd. Donald gets the autograph easily and says that it is thanks to his ability developed cramming people in trash baskets. Daisy is displeased at his last remark, and says that she only accepts going to the prom with him if he gives up cramming people in baskets forever. After the prom starts, Donald interrupts his dance with Daisy and calls his former trash basket-cramming colleagues to follow him. Daisy thinks that Donald is going to break his promise, but he is merely calling them to try out a "new craze": cramming multiple people into a tuba.

Chapter 4

Think box remake

Huey, Dewey and Louie tell Donald about the think boxes.

In Jiminy's TV show, he invites Gyro Gearloose as the final guest to tell a story. This story is a remake of Carl Bark's "The Think Box Bollix" (1952), which was completely redrawn but most scenes and dialogue were left unchanged.

See "The Think Box Bollix" for the plot of this story.

In Jiminy's TV show, Gyro prepares to leave, and Donald asks for a short ride on Gyro's flying pogo stick towards a camera nearby. Donald walks towards the camera and says that he is very pleased at appearing on TV, and that he is waiting for the next guest. Jiminy informs him that there are no other guests, and Donald gets angry at because of that, but then Jiminy clarifies that Donald himself should tell the story of how he became a actor. This pleases Donald.

Chapter 5

Donald singing

Donald singing in the talent show.

In the whole story, Donald serves as an unreliable narrator, failing to tell his mistakes and unpleasant acts, and replacing them by vague remarks implying that he was doing well as an artist.

Donald is in the audience of a talent show, and he is unilaterally booing a singer. (as the narrator, Donald says that he was appreciating music) Donald is pleased when a worker in the talent show sounds a gong, cluing the singer to leave. An usher asks if Donald could do better. Donald rushes to the stage, confident that he can do anything, but after singing a little, he trips and falls. (as the narrator, Donald says that he was "rusty" and not on his best performance) The same gong sound clues Donald to leave, but he insists and keeps on singing even after his failure. The gong player starts hitting Donald's head with the gong hammer. (as the narrator, Donald says that he was determined not to give up, but the gong worker got something personal against him) Some people in the audience throw eggs and tomatoes at Donald, and a furious Donald throw tomatoes back at the audience. (as the narrator, Donald says that the audience joined him in the show and he made an effort to finish his number) Donald is forced to leave the stage by a large cane that gets him by the neck. Donald signs a contract with Walt Disney himself (only Walt's arm is shown) to work as a comedy actor who is supposed to be hit by pies on the face. He proceeds to star as a cowboy with a jibbing horse, and then he is shown in a room where multiple costumes are.

In Jiminy's TV show, Donald says that he is a self-made star. Jiminy gives a large golden egg to Donald as a gift, symbolizing the fact that Donald hatched from an egg and also that his artistic career started when he was hit by eggs in the talent show. Huey, Dewey, and Louie come out from the egg and voice a protest: they say that Donald is not actually "self-made", because the three little ducks woke him up early and sent him to studio everyday, otherwise he would have been fired on the first day. Donald's nephews demand to be congratulated too, but Donald closes their golden egg again and struggles to keep them restrained inside.

TIYLDD comic cameos

The last panel, with its multiple cameos. (from the Brazilian Donald Duck #1000, written in Portuguese)

Jiminy says that Donald still must still guess who is the last guest. A very loud voice says hello to him, and Donald gets agitated because that does not remind him of anyone. Jaq and Gus appear and identify themselves as the next guests. Donald remarks that they are too small to produce such a loud voice, and Jiminy says that they are not alone. Dozens of other Disney characters appear on the last scene and are seen together with Donald on camera, and Donald's nephews free themselves by breaking the golden egg.

Characters

Trivia

  • This story inspired Brazilian author Ivan Saidenberg to create Little Zorro, the superhero alter ego of Huey, Dewey and Louie.

External links

References

  1. https://blog.animationstudies.org/?p=1649