Original Air Date: December 16, 1949
Donald protects his nuts from a famous pair of fast-talking rodents.
Donald Duck made his first appearance in 1939’s The Wise Little Hen looking a tad different, yet remained largely the same quick-tempered asshole throughout his entire career in Disney’s theatrical shorts (which extended nearly two decades longer than Mickey Mouse’s, I might add.)
Donald’s first appearance
Toy Tinkers was the last theatrical Donald short of the 1940s. It was nominated for an Academy Award but lost to Pepe Le Pew’s For Scent-imental Reasons.
To give myself and the dozen or so of you reading this blog a break from the usual post of screenshot-filled drivel followed by an Amazon product link… here’s the entire cartoon followed by an Amazon product link!
Yeah, I’m pretty gay for Donald Duck. But this cartoon spurred the idea for this entire blog (after sensationalizing Disney violence in a feature for GamesRadar.com) plus, it’s my personal favorite Disney Christmas cartoon, so eat that Flintstones fans!
The same way people often associate Christmas with cold temperatures and the smell of firewood, I associate it with Toy Tinkers and Anchor Steam’s Christmas Ale.
You haven’t lived until you’ve killed your own Christmas Tree
Chip and Dale follow Donald home to steal his nuts (har har) but you’ll forgive me if I just post a couple of shots without ruining anything about this fantastic holiday cartoon chock full of great gags and wonderful music.
More wholesome than it looks
I’m going to go out on a limb and bet you’ve seen Toy Tinkers before. Disney loves including it on just about any DVD featuring a mistletoe and it’s included in damn near every Yule Tide sizzle reel produced by the company.
But what you might’ve forgotten is all the gunplay which has been omitted from the cartoon in order to keep classic Disney characters safe for baby clothes. Either way, give it a watch. Toy Tinkers never ceases to make me profoundly happy.
As is usually the case, Jesus keeps his big beard out of Disney’s business.
Donald briefly dons the red suit… but it’s only to shove a gun in the chipmunks’ face.
Oh no! A Tobacco reference! SNIP-SNIP
I don’t care what today’s parents say: Gunplay and violence can too be funny, especially within the context of Toy Tinkers. Outside of that revolver image above, it’s made pretty clear Donald is firing walnuts out of a cork gun and the chipmunks are shooting fruit and ornaments. So shut up, hippies!
Okay, this image may require some explanation for kids under 10
The music is phenomenal as is the detail of animation, so it’s important not to overlook that just because the news tells us that children today are violent and brainless sponges. Toy Tinkers perfectly embodies the Holidays for me, and never goes a single Christmas without an airing or two in my household.
PRODUCT INFORMATION (Support the Site!)
Toy Tinkers appears unedited on the out of print and astronomically priced The Chronological Donald Volume Three. Oddly enough, Volume Two of Disney’s phenomenal Treasures series is still available at a much more affordable price… if that’s any consolation. Unfortunately, the Treasures series are the only place to find many of Disney’s finest shorts completely uncensored. If that isn’t a factor for you and yours, this year’s Disney Animation Collection 7: Mickey’s Christmas Carol features that and other Holiday classics like The Small One and Pluto’s Christmas Tree.