Saturday, May 05, 2007

Donald and the Wheel - In Four Color!

One of my earliest posts here on 2719 Hyperion was a short feature about one of my favorite Disney cartoons: Donald and the Wheel. In digging through my long boxes recently I rediscovered a little piece of four-color fun I had forgotten I had—the Dell Comics adaptation of that 1961 Donald Duck short.

Most would likely dismiss this Donald Duck comic book as being fairly inconsequential. Typically, if a Duck comic from this time period doesn’t possess a Carl Barks pedigree, it tends to be largely ignored, let alone inspire any kind of discussion.

While adapting the vast majority of the cartoon’s sequences, the comic also added a framing sequence involving Huey, Dewey and Louie and established a narrative with Donald himself being a character, and not just assuming roles within the story. The Spirits of Progress, the father-son duo who are the central narrators of the tale, fully appeared in the comic, going beyond the rot scoped silhouettes they were in the cartoon.

One feature that remained consistent from film to page was the clever rhyming dialog that the Spirits cleverly engage in.

In keeping with the “edu-tainment” nature of both short and comic story, the inside, cover pages and the back cover provided some fun illustrated facts and diagrams.

Certainly in no way groundbreaking or otherwise significant, but a neat little piece of memorabilia nonetheless.



Hey Jeff,

You post the most fascinating blogs! Did you ever see this cartoon? I recently acquired an animation cel I believe to be from this film. We'll all look forward to seeing this cartoon on Disney's CHRONOLOGICAL DONALD part 3 later this year.

Jeffrey Pepper said...

Thanks for commenting Rob--

I have a VHS copy of Donald and the Wheel that I recorded off of the Disney Channel back in 90s. Luckily, it was from a digital source so the quality was very good.

While it seems most Disney historians and animation enthusiasts have either dismissed it or ignored it all together, its become a personal favorite of mine. While certainly no great shakes technically, it is quirky and fun with some great songs and the very distinctive rhyming narration.

Unknown said...


I've been desperately trying to find a way to get Donald and the Wheel to give it as a birthday present for my dad.. who is a great fan of Walt Disney. (preferably on DVD). Can you please give me some hints? Many thanks.