Wednesday, December 22, 2021

"Donald's Gift"

 For whatever reason, or more probably no reason, this one comes after "Christmas Maximus" in the movie but before it in the comic.  Right.

So...the story here is that Donald gets SICK of "We Wish You a Merry Christmas," because apparently it's the only Christmas song in Duckburg.  I think it's a pretty inoffensive song, and I like the part where they threaten to keep singing if you don't give them figgy pudding (for the record, that's the only verse that doesn't figure in the movie).  But if I had to hear it and only it all month, I think I'd be in a similar headspace as Donald, and everyone else seems kind of nuts for not just tolerating but actively celebrating this madness.

There's not much of a plot.  I think this'll be a rather short entry.  But the main conflict is Donald alienating everyone around him by not being sufficiently worshipful of "We Wish You a Merry Christmas."

Since various commenters brought this up, I should say that I'm pretty good with this coloring.  Sure, it looks rather distinct from the usual, but...that's okay.  It's fine for this book to have unusual aesthetic sensibilities.  It certainly makes that bottom panel stand out.

In the cartoon, there's this thing where every noise he hears from any source sounds like the song.  That's a rather cool idea--probably my favorite thing in the whole story, honestly--but of course, it would have been very difficult to translate that to comic form.  It does make it look like he's going crazier in the original version than in this, but I don't know how to finish this sentence.

The ending is very abrupt here.  Honestly, making this entire thing fit in twenty-eight pages without making the stories incoherent is an impressive achievement, even if it meant some undesirable cuts.  But those are felt in various places, and certainly here.  We really need Donald to suffer a little more than that to be invested in his redemption.

Which, well, here it is.  The cartoon actually makes it clearer: "I've heard this song so goddamn many times I can teach you."  That's a paraphrase.  But I have to admit, it's not a bad plot device, even if Duckburg having one (1) Christmas songs seems questionable.

The thing I don't like about this story is that it feels sort of bullying.  Look back at that first panel of Mickey, a look of malign intent on his face, telling about how Donald sure learned his lesson.  Sure, I think Christmas is a fun holiday, but for God's sake, it can't be mandatory.  That's when things start to feel like East Germany.  If you jerks didn't want Donald to go nuts, maybe you could've imported a second Christmas song!  Ever think of THAT?  Huh?


Anonymous Elaine said...

I do not have much to say about this, either, other than that if one hasn't watched the cartoon, it's fairly difficult to discern what is happening on the third page of the adaptation. It's a pity the folks insisting on a strict page limit didn't allow David to just drop one of the stories (hint: THIS ONE), thereby leaving room for slightly fuller versions of the other four stories. We want Jailbreak Bob! What after all *is* Christmas without Jailbreak Bob? A sad disappointment all around, that's what.

December 22, 2021 at 4:31 PM  
Blogger Joe Torcivia said...


Ya know… I could see the ESSENCE of this working as a Lockman/Strobl collaboration!

Donald’s increasing annoyance at the repetition of the song, but finally helping a hapless choir properly perform it because (as you say) "I've heard this song so goddamn many times I can teach you."

…And so all’s well that ends well!

December 22, 2021 at 4:54 PM  
Blogger Pan Miluś said...

Maybe this tale take place in post-war-on-Christmas(and post apocalyptic) Duckburg and this is the only Christmas song that's still legal to sing? (both in public space and in comfort of your home) "Jingle bells" was taken down for imply animal abuse, all Santa songs sugest worship of a Catholic saint and "Deck the halls" was when conservatists strike back and acuse it of "LGBT+ propaganda" (Way to troll the hell out of ancient Yuletide carol...)

Anyhow I'm not sure would this make Donald upset that this is the only song left or is he so hardcore that he can't stand for there being one last left, seams to work either way with the ending of him finaly braking down and acepting this new reality like a good comformist Daisy and the boys want him to be...

December 22, 2021 at 6:00 PM  
Blogger Pan Miluś said...

I know I previously made a comment how this CGI was ok for 2004… But you know what? I recently revisit “Spider-man 2” which also came out in 2004 and CGI in that movie is impressive even by today standards! Hell, I enjoy “Spider-man No way home”, but it's so fake CGI'ish compering to how much realistic the older one felt! I mean that train fight sequence is still so balls out…

(someone wispers quickly off screen)

Huh?! What do you mean it was all practical?

(some one wispers quickly off screen)

Dock Ock was made mostly with puppets and green screen???

(some one wispers quickly off screen)

That was a real car they thrown in that café scene!? Huh...

Ok, never mind… Or, you know what? No! Mind! That how they should done this movie! With puppets, practical effects, green screen and real cars thrown at Donald! People would still worship “Twice upon Christmas” years later as most beloved one in the franchise for it’s impressive visuals that “Mickey eight upon Christmas” wish it had!

December 22, 2021 at 6:34 PM  
Blogger tymime said...

Pretty sure the main joke of this segment is that "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" is just inexplicably popular, and Donald is the only one who's noticed. And that's why when he reacts the way he does, everyone else thinks he's just being a grump.

December 23, 2021 at 9:23 PM  
Blogger GeoX, one of the GeoX boys. said...

That's definitely a more interesting reading, but I sort of doubt the writers would've been sophisticated enough to intentionally do that. Still, as we know, the author is dead, so we can feel free to posit it.

December 24, 2021 at 5:26 PM  
Blogger tymime said...

I don't think you give the writers enough credit. :/

December 24, 2021 at 10:46 PM  
Blogger GeoX, one of the GeoX boys. said...

I mean, have the writers of these particular stories EARNED the right to be given any especially great amount of credit? I would submit that they have not.

December 26, 2021 at 2:15 PM  

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