Headscratchers / Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers

  • Pete makes a whole point to the Beagle Boys that he wants to kidnap Minnie instead of killing her. I mean, WHY ? If the only thing he does once he has got the kidnapped Minnie is to lock her up in a place where no one will ever find her, wouldn't killing her do the job easily ? It can't be scruples, not from Big Bad Pete's part.
    • In theory, he needs her alive. Pete (the Captain of the Musketeers) is nowhere in the line of succession — if Princess Minnie dies or is ruled dead, the throne passes to someone else. In order for him to rule, he would need to present himself as her spokesperson, handing down "the Princess' orders" while keeping her locked up against the need for a signature or forced appearance. Admittedly, this may be overthinking the plot, but still...
    • Well, that could be a justification… But apparently, Pete's plan is to get her out of the way and use a disguised Midget Beagle to play Minnie's part when needed. It's true he needs to make the people believe that their princess willingly gave the power to Pete and is still okay with any reform he could make, but he never mentions wanting to oblige Minnie to play this role: he uses his Midget Beagle. So still why ?
    • But I just remembered something quite unsettling: in the original shorts of the 30's, Pete was often trying to kiss Minnie by force, having apparently something of a crush on her. Is keeping her locked away in a place only him knows related in any way to that ?
    • Pete can't just kill a "former" ruler. If Minnie dies too soon after abdicating, several people may refuse to dismiss it as a coincidence. He probably intended to wait until people got used to live under his rule and he could have her killed at a time he secured enough power to neutralize anyone asking too many questions.

  • Donald's characterization in this movie. Cowardice has never been his biggest flaw, or even a huge part of his personality. Not that he hasn't shown cowardice, but no more than any of the other characters. His major traita has always been his temper, and it only is really displayed in one scene in this movie (when Troubadour sings his You Suck song). It's not like it couldn't work as a believable flaw (it had been working for over half a century till that point), Pete could say he's too much of a loose cannon, that he flies off the handle at any slight (except, you kno, the way Pete would say), and that Musketeers need discipline.
    • Maybe they thought that a constantly angry character wouldn't be fun to watch. Or that he would be a too good fighter by always charging in...
    • Actually, this is a bit of Fridge Brilliance: Donald being a coward is an established part of his character; it's just that this particular trait is more a staple of the Donald who appears in comic books and strips than Donald in animation — and this movie is narrated from a comic book!
      • It varies from story to story just how cowardly he is, though a fair rule of thumb is that if there's another character with him who can play the brave hero (like Mickey or Uncle Scrooge) Donald is usually portrayed as a bit of a coward as a contrast; he's all gung-ho as long as there's no actual danger involved, but when things get scary he's just as likely to lose his nerve. For a good example of a "cowardly Donald," you can check out the classic Floyd Gottfredson comic, The House of Seven Haunts from 1936.
      • In Fantagraphics' collected Gottfredson volumes, the Musketeers director is actually quoted as referencing "Seven Haunts" as his specific inspiration for Donald in the Musketeers film: that cinches it.
      • Yes, it most certainly does vary between comic book authors. The example of Floyd Gottfredson isn't a very good one since he's always been credited more of a Mickey Mouse author rather than a Donald one so of course, his Mickey would be the hero. But there are plenty of Barks' and even some of Don Rosa's comics (and Don Rosa is usually notorious for making Donald even more unlucky and "cowardly" than Barks' or his animated counterpart ever was!) where Donald demonstrates bravado like "The Black Knight Glorps Again" where Donald almost sacrifices himself in trying to stop a thief with armour that acts like a black hole which destroys everything it touches! There are also examples of Donald's bravery in the newer European comics. And let's not forget that it was his incarnation in the comics that gave us Donald's avenger/superhero alter ego, Paperinik/Duck Avenger as well as his secret agent alter ego, Double Duck! So although his cowardice might show up more in the comics than in the cartoons, he's only scared when there's actual danger, not at the drop of a hat like they portrayed him in the movie! And even then, he usually does still face his fears head on!
      • Like I said: Varies from story to story. If one story demands that Donald be a Fearless Fool, then he will be. If the story demands that he's a Lovable Coward, he will be that. The great thing about Donald is that his personality is flexible enough that he can play both these roles and not come across as OOC.
      • Except that it does comes across as OOC, especially when the majority of his other cartoons and many of his comics don't usually portray that side of him and that's why so many of his fans have called Disney out on this! In fact, in many Italian comics concerning medieval times, he's often portrayed as a One-Man Army or Master Swordsman and has been shown to single-handedly defeat whole armies and perform incredible feats of strength including lifting up an entire catapult and hurling it at the Beagle Boy army! These comics included: "Paperino Il Paladino," "Paperin de Paperac," "Paperin Furioso and "Paperino Fracas" and this last one is a good example of how he's capable of feeling fear, but still chooses to aggressively charge headfirst and fight since his aggression has almost always been a part of his character ever since his second appearance in "Mickey's Orphans' Benefit" (1934)! And the best part is that most of these examples weren't All Just a Dream. "Paperino Il Paladino" was set in that time period, "Paperin Furioso" had Witch Hazel send him back in time, and "Paperino Fracas" actually gave him that experience via magic! This means that Donald really is that strong and brave and good a warrior!
      • And those are examples of stories where Donald is portrayed as brave. There are still a lot of comic stories where he isn't. I grew up on Disney comics in the 80s and 90s, and I read more examples of the latter than the former (maybe I just read the wrong stories), so to me Donald usually came across more of a Lovable Coward but with a number of Let's Get Dangerous! moments. (I tend to view the Duck Avenger and Double Duck stories as alternate continuities... insofar as there is a continuity at all in the Disney Ducks Comic Universe.) I'd say it's more Character Exaggeration than a case of OOC, because I recognized Donald in the movie. His cowardice was exaggerated for comic effect, and his temper downplayed perhaps a bit too much because it would clash with his flaw-of-the-movie, but I still hold that Donald's cowardly streak is not something unique to this movie and has been one of Donald's traits in many other stories.
    • This tumblr post actually neatly, if depressingly, solves the issue. While Donald being a coward played a small role in him leaving, his main reasons were "I'm useless" and "If Goofy fell to Pete when he and you are perfectly capable of fighting bad guys without me, it doesn't matter if I stay." In other words, Donald was leaving because he genuinely believed Mickey didn't need him, a not unreasonable fear all things considered.