The clock watcher

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Original title The clock watcher
Country of production United States
original language English
Publishing year 1945
length 8 minutes
Director Jack King
script Harry Reeves
Rex Cox (both story)
production Walt Disney
for The Walt Disney Company
music Oliver Wallace

The Clock Watcher is an American animated short film directed by Jack King from 1945 starring Donald Duck as a stressed employee in the packaging department of a department store.


Donald works in the packaging department of the Royal Bros. department store. Work starts at eight in the morning, and once again he's late. Donald rushes through town and arrives at work five minutes past eight. So that nobody notices, he takes out a magnet and uses it to pull the clock's minute hand back to seven minutes to 8. Then he takes out his punch card and slips it into the time clock. Whistling happily, he goes to his workplace, an elongated packing table. The loudspeaker of the company management got on his nerves from the start. In order to motivate employees and increase their performance, an annoying good-mood song ( The Loyal Royal Work Song ) sounds at the beginning of each working day . Donald rolls his eyes. Shortly before his first rage of the day, he covers his ears, tormented by the sounds.

A few seconds later, to the sound of an express train, the first batch of sold goods rushes from the ramp to his desk to be wrapped as gifts by Donald. Donald wouldn't be Donald if he took his job seriously. His first product, a bulbous glass container, is transformed into a bowling ball and thrown across the table with a swing. The glass rolls over the wrapping paper, wraps itself in the process and, after throwing away small perfume bottles like cones, comes to a stop right in front of the roll with the packaging tape. Donald just has to 'snap' the scissors and the goods are packed. Then Donald takes a stamp and hits the clinking glass with force. While this is now shattered into a thousand parts, it is emblazoned on the packaging of valuable Note 'fragile' ( fragile ). The next item to be packaged must be a trumpet. It doesn't want to fit into the supposedly intended box. No problem for Donald: he takes them to his vice and presses them together without further ado. After that it looks like a post horn and Donald blows into it again as a rehearsal, whereby the escaping sound bears no resemblance to that of the trombone, but at least: The musical instrument has now been made to match as a gift.

Donald's next item is very lightly packaged. The box is way too big for the bracelet, but Donald throws it in there. The box for the American football bought by a customer is far too small for that. Donald doesn't understand that he has swapped the two boxes, so he quickly adapts the oversized football to the bracelet box by stabbing the egg-shaped ball with a pick. It loses all its air and now fits loosely into the tiny box as a wrinkled leather mass.

Meanwhile, the loudspeaker motivator is annoying with its singsong, and Donald looks desperately at the clock behind him. Time just doesn't want to go by, so Donald tries to manipulate the clock. But it doesn't help, in the end the hands always go back to the actual time. Finally Donald gets bored and starts reading a notebook. 'Big Brother' at the end of the loudspeaker seems to hear everything (“We don't sound very busy down there, do we Mr. Duck?”; We don't sound very busy down there, do we , Mr. Duck? ). But Donald doesn't let that bother him. He looks up briefly and pretends to be working: while he reads comfortably on, he knocks on the table with a box, rustles wrapping paper, knocks on the table with one foot and finally takes out a pair of scissors, which he snaps loudly.

Then he first rolls out his wrapped snack over the entire packing table in order to have a hearty breakfast. However, the scent of the hot coffee from the thermos gets into the speaker funnel. At the other end you can tell that Donald is obviously starting to take a siesta. Somebody sneezes from the loudspeaker in the direction of Donald's coffee cup and showered him with his own coffee. Donald gets his second rage of the day, but is soon called to order over the loudspeaker. Donald feigns consternation and insight, but makes grimaces while he vows to get better. More packaging items follow when the loudspeaker announces that production has been increased in all departments of the store - in all but one: the packaging department. Donald is angry and yells “That's not true!” (That's not true ! ). Then he plays with the speaker opening and then wraps himself up when packing a rocking chair.

Finally, Donald's ultimate challenge rushes off the ramp and onto his table. A mysterious, large box. When something moves inside her and Donald sees two eyes peeking out, he unceremoniously pulls out the pen that closes the lid. A jumping devil in a harlequin costume rushes out. Donald still enjoys it. He pushes the Jack in the Box back to its starting position and tries to close the lid again. But it hisses straight out of the box with Donald clinging tightly to him. From the background, the omniscient loudspeaker warns: “Mr. Duck, we mustn't play with the toys! ”( Mr. Duck, we are not allowed to play with the toys! ). Donald gets his third fit of rage. He closes the box, packs it and sits on it to finally devote himself to his breakfast. But the jumping devil harlequin is forced to go outside, and Donald shoots all over the table, through all the packaged goods.

Donald doesn't give up, he presses the box together with his tried and tested vice. When something motivating echoes from the loudspeaker, it's enough for Donald. He stuffs the opening in the brass funnel with a baseball. But the loudspeaker hardly goes silent, and the tones loosen the baseball, which flies with force against the vice, loosening its holder. In no time at all, the box rushes apart and the Jack in the Box is outside again, not without folding Donald's breakfast sandwich over the face of the stressed duck. Donald is enough now. He rams the box to the floor with wooden pegs. But the jumping device has so much power that the harlequin pokes through the floor and looks out of the ceiling in the basement. Donald can't believe his eyes. First he hangs out of the window to look at the mishap in disbelief, then he races down one floor. He pulls the harlequin out so far that it snaps back with Donald and both shoot into the box. The box rumbles and turns several times, and when they both jump out of the box again, the little jumping devil is wearing Donald's clothes while the drake is now dressed as a harlequin.

It's finally 5 p.m. Donald is happy that this horror workday is over, but the loudspeaker robs him of all hope. Surely he doesn't mind working a little overtime. And a new express of goods rushes onto Donald's packing table. It's enough for him now. Donald races upstairs in his harlequin suit to fight the speaker behind the speaker. As a final shot, you can hear Donald beating the driver through the loudspeaker in the packaging department, while the loudspeaker also disintegrates into its individual components.


The Clock Watcher was realized in Technicolor in 1944 and awarded by RKO Pictures . The 7:34 minute film premiered on January 26, 1945.

Clarence Nash speaks Donald Duck as always.

The animation was done by Don Towsley, Bill Justice , Judge Whitaker and Josh Meador. Ernest Nordli was responsible for the layout and Howard Dunn for the background.

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