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Western Animation / Clock Cleaners

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A very popular 1937 short in the Classic Disney Shorts lineup, the short is centered on Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy as they, well, attempt to clean the giant clock tower, Big Beth. However, chaos ensues as Mickey attempts to get rid of a stork nesting in the tower, Donald wages a frustrating battle with a sentient clock spring, and Goofy gets himself into life-threatening situations via his own klutziness and stupidity. Naturally, Hilarity Ensues.

Ranked #27 on The 50 Greatest Cartoons in 1994.


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This short provides examples of:

  • Alliterative Title: "Clock Cleaners".
  • Animate Inanimate Object: Donald talks to the clock spring and it seems to be talking back.
  • Can't You Read the Sign?: Donald ignores a fairly obvious "Keep off the mainspring" sign, and spends the rest of the short regretting it.
  • Circling Birdies: After Goofy is hit on the head.
  • Concussions Get You High: Again, after Goofy is hit on the head.
  • Construction Zone Calamity: Goofy wanders onto swinging girders after taking the hit to the head.
  • Enmity with an Object: Donald argues with the mainspring, while Goofy thinks the figures that ring the bell are doing it to mess with him.
    Donald: What's the big idea?!
    Clock Spring: (imitating Donald) "What's the big idea?"
    Donald: Aw, shut up!
    Clock Spring: You shut up!
    Donald: Oh, yeah?
    Clock Spring: Oh, yeah!
    Donald: Says who?
    Clock Spring: Says I!
    Donald: I'll bust you, you doggone snake-in-the-grass!
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  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Mickey, Donald and Goofy clean a clock tower.
  • Here We Go Again!: The short ends with the trio getting caught in the same gear Donald did earlier and dealing with the subsequent body movements.
  • Scenery Porn: Some of the backgrounds of the short are nothing short of jaw dropping. Just look at the opening shot!
  • Standard Snippet: After Goofy is hit on the head, "Song Without Words" by Felix Mendelssohn is heard on the soundtrack. And when he walks dizzily, the penultimate section of Johann Strauss's "The Blue Danube" plays.
  • Too Dumb to Live:
    • Donald, just watch him happily jump over the main spring despite of all the Danger signs.
    • Goofy, unaware that the statue isn't a real woman.
  • Wouldn't Hit a Girl: Goofy is about to hit one of the bell ringing figures when it's revealed to be female (specifically, the Statue of Liberty). He apologizes to her by saying "I didn't know you were a lady. Pardon me." He then gets hit on the head by Liberty.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: Just as Donald finally gets the mainspring back into place, Mickey and Goofy crash land onto it and it becomes even more unraveled than it was before.

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