If you think too hard about Wet Paint, you will ruin the fun. How is Donald painting a car with a paintbrush? Why does he have more than 2 colors when those are the only ones he uses? How did the bird get out of the paint in the first place? There’s not a lot of logic to the short, but it manages to entertain because of the classic formula of Donald’s frustration.
The variations on the theme of the bird messing up the fresh paint on Donald’s car and Donald trying to fix it could easily get repetitive. In Wet Paint, though, there’s a unique twist on each one that makes it fun. We get Donald covering one mistake then we get another scene where he splashes tons of different colors all over the car and then another where there is hair all over it. Each variation ups the ante just a bit and makes it quite fun.
Little details in each individual segment make Wet Paint a lot of fun. When Donald is first painting over the tracks of the bird, he paints up the hood of the car, paints over the entire windshield, over the trunk and then through the car by painting upside down on the underside. It’s funny, even if it’s not laugh out loud funny. Little details like that can make all the difference.
I like especially how Donald’s relationship with the bird escalates. He starts off annoyed and then gets progressively angrier. First he chases the bird away, then shoots at her and finally takes an axe to her tree before having a crisis of conscience. I’ve said before, Donald works best when this is his dynamic, so it’s wonderful to see it being executed here.
The ending seems a little cliché, as the bird’s babies flock to Donald’s head and stay his hand from chopping them down with the axe. Perhaps a better ending would have been to have Donald get some kind of comeuppance, but that could also be me splitting hairs. Wet Paint succeeds in being funny and engaging because it has some wonderful visuals and gags, and that’s probably enough.
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