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Western Animation / Truant Officer Donald

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Truant Officer Donald is a 1941 animated short film (7 minutes) from Disney, directed by Jack King.

Donald Duck is, no prizes for guessing correctly, a truant officer. He has tracked down Huey, Dewey, and Louie to a pond where the boys are swimming and having a good time. Donald promptly arrests them. As he's taking them to school in his paddy wagon, the boys cut their way out and flee to their clubhouse. The latter portion of the cartoon is a battle featuring Donald laying siege to the clubhouse, trying to catch the boys, while they try to outwit him.


  • Adaptational Alternate Ending: In the comic adaptation, instead of getting mad at Donald for forgetting that it's the summer holidays, the boys laugh at him for trying to get them into school on Saturday, only for Donald to reveal that as truant officer, he has a key to the school, and make them write 'Crime does not pay' on the classroom blackboard.
  • Always Gets His Man: Don says this word for word after catching all three of his nephews.
  • Ass Shove: Donald gets on the receiving end of this trope when his nephews shove a pole up his bottom! How that ever got past the Hays Office is baffling to say the least!
  • "Could Have Avoided This!" Plot: Much of the episode could have being prevented had Donald actually read up on current events that school has closed for the summer holidays. Alternatively, the boys should have informed him about this. Although, they might had told him off-screen but Donald simply did not believe them.
  • Death Glare: Donald's nephews glare at Donald as soon as he finds out that it's summer vacation.
  • Furry Confusion: Huey, Dewey, and Louie trick Donald into thinking he's burned them alive by putting three roast chickens into their bed. So...ducks eat roast chicken?
  • Hypocrite: Donald talks big that his nephews should receive good education when in truth, he's the one who should know first that school is closed for the summer.
  • Inspector Javert: Donald sees his nephews out on the street during school hours and immediately assumes "playing hooky" instead of anything else like "summer break" (which it turns out to be, and as a truant officer you'd expect him to know it), leading to a lot of mayhem.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: "I didn't mean to do it!", wails Donald after the trick with the roast chickens leads him to believe he's burned Huey, Dewey, and Louie alive.
  • Non-Giving-Up School Guy: Donald stops at nothing to catch his nephews and take them to school. When he finally succeeds, he finds out that school is closed for summer vacation (and in the comic book adaptation, not even that gets in the way of Donald getting the last word).
  • Police Are Useless: Donald fit this to a T.
  • Portrait Painting Peephole: A sign rather than a portrait, but Donald first catches sight of Huey, Dewey, and Louie by peeping through the O's in a sign labeled "SCHOOL".
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: The short ends with Donald discovering that school is out for the summer. The comic book adaptation subverts this by having Donald force his nephews to write "crime does not pay" several hundred times anyway for all the pain they put him through.
  • Scooby Stack: The boys as they peek out the door to see the effect of firing Donald out of a cannon.
  • Shameful Shrinking: Donald literally shrinks from embarrassment at the end after realizing it's summer vacation.
  • The Siege: Donald trying to get the boys out of their clubhouse. At one point he tries lifting the whole clubhouse onto a truck, and later he tries to literally smoke Huey, Dewey, and Louie out.
  • Skipping School: Well, Donald thought they were.
  • Visual Pun: A watermelon shot onto Donald's head shatters so it looks like a football helmet, complete with ear hole.