Donald has built an automatic washer to give Pluto a bath in the Walt Disney Animation Studios short, “Donald’s Dog Laundry.” It’s a battle of wills as Donald is looking for an easier way to bathe Pluto, while Pluto is looking for any way to avoid being given a bath. In the end, Donald is the one who ends up using the automatic washer, and, as a duck, he ends up loving it.
This is one of the cuter early 1940s shorts from the Walt Disney Animation Studios. A lot of the earlier shorts paint Donald as a nuisance for Mickey, Goofy and Pluto. This one paints him as much friendlier and just wanting to give the dog a bath. While there will certainly be some shorts made after this one where Donald is antagonistic, it’s still nice to see the foundations of Donald has one of the Sensational Six. Donald still does some antagonistic things like make fun of Pluto when he gets a squeaky toy bone stuck in his mouth and uses a cat puppet to try to lure Pluto in to the bath. But his ultimate goal is a friendly one.
On top of the antagonistic moments, there are some genuinely funny interactions between the pair. Pluto constantly lifting the roof of his house to see outside rather than sticking his head out the hole is funny. When everything backfires, Donald ends up getting washed by the machine. It’s a lot of fun to see Donald fall in the water, and Pluto accidentally turn on the machine. These moments are funny without being cruel, which is a nice change from some of the earlier Donald shorts.
Is this my favorite early Walt Disney Animation Studios short? No, it’s not, but it was still a lot of fun to watch and a great way to spend nine minutes. If you are a fan of early Disney, definitely check this one out.