Wednesday, April 28, 2010

056 The Hockey Champ

Title: The Hockey Champ
Studio: Disney
Date: 4/28/39
Credits: None listed on viewed print
Series: Donald Duck
Running time (of viewed version): 7:33

Synopsis: Donald Duck figure skates, then plays hockey against his three nephews in an infuriating manner that ultimately inspires the nephews to vengeance.

Comments: Donald makes himself up to look like Sonja Henie, for an extended period of time. Usually that kind of caricature comes and goes quickly. Donald playing dirty is one of the things that made his cartoons enjoyable. This is another cartoon I have clear childhood memories of. Maybe Disney made sure to play it in Christmas specials with its snowy scenery. Why they would have released such a wintry cartoon in late April, a week and a half after the Stanley Cup was done (Boston Bruins over the Toronto Maple Leafs, 4 games to 1) and probably a couple of months after it was last safe to skate on anyone's local ponds in the continental US, I don't know. The nephews have something of the role Bugs Bunny would have. Donald is a dick and the villain of the cartoon (literally costumed like a devil at one point), while the nephews have the role of clever underdogs. They're a bit more violently aggressive than Bugs would usually be, tho. I wonder if the way I find winter cartoons to be generally good looking has to do with liking winter, or if it's just that images read well (which might also explain why Lantz kept Chilly Willy around for such a long time).


  1. For a southern California-based company that's also best-known for their complex in Florida, Disney and hockey have crossed paths a number of times. Aside from this, there was Jack Kinney's "Hockey Homicide" six years later, and moving into the modern era, when Michael Eisner's kid got interested in the sport, he went out and got the company an NHL expansion franchise for Anaheim (and based the team name on one of the company's live-action films).