Day 14: Bee at the Beach (1950)
Starring: Donald Duck and Spike the Bee
Setting: The beach
Plot: During a busy day at the beach, a bully bee pits Donald against a septate of hungry sharks.
This is the sixth of eight classic shorts Spike would appear in.
In all but one of the episodes, Spike would play the foil to Donald except for Bubble Bee (1949) where he stars alongside Pluto.
The beach and the way the boardwalk and roller coaster sit in the backdrop look at lot like Santa Monica.
For being such a crowded beach, you’d think they could’ve animated at least one other beachgoer.
Can bees really go under water? I don’t think so.
Sitting by the Campfire
If you were to ask me what the preeminent summer short is before we started this series, I would’ve said this one. However, upon a closer look, I never realized how dark and tragic this episode is. When we first see Donald, he is happy-go-lucky, singing to himself and clearly excited to spend the day at the beach. Yet, the last thing we see is poor Donald running (flying?) for his life as six sharks chase him. Spike is clearly a bully and Donald is nothing more than an innocent victim. The beach is packed to the gills… how can we expect Donald to account for a tiny bee setting up camp right next to him? Stepping on him and flooding his setup was an honest mistake. And, when Spike finally gets his attention, Donald leans in and is completely open to hearing him out until Spike takes the opportunity to kick sand in his face. Spike is a jerk. Donald deserves better. End of story.