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Clock Cleaners
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Clock Cleaners

One of the most critically acclaimed of the class Disney short subjects, Clock Cleaners pairs Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and Goofy in slapstick mayhem staged in a New York City's skyscraper as the three struggle to clean a massive tower clock. In addition to the Harold Lloyd-style physical comedy, the short is notable for its background art, which display a Renaissance-style approach to perspective and composition.

As early as 1931, Walt Disney had been sending his staff to art classes at the Chinouiard Art School. Not only did he do so at his own expense, but for those animators who didn't have their own cars he picked them up and drove them himself. Eventually he realized it was more economical to hire away Chinouiard staff to teach classes at the studio. Along the way, Disney's team developed classically-trained eyes.

The cartoon gained a different kind of attention in the 1990s when Donald Wildmon's advocacy organization the American Family Association lobbied Wal-Mart to halt sales of the VHS tape Cartoon Classics: Fun on the Job! on their mistaken belief that Donald Duck swears several times during Clock Cleaners. Although the allegation was ludicrous on its face, the uproar was enough to have the soundtrack censored, by overlaying audio clips from other shorts onto Donald's "offending" dialogue.

By David Kalat

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