Modern Inventions is a cartoon directed by Jack King that was released on May 29, 1937. It was branded as part of the Mickey Mouse series on its initial release, and later branded as part of the Donald Duck series when it was re-released.
Donald visits "The Museum of Modern Marvels", which showcases various futuristic electronic appliances and inventions. In the museum, Donald encounters and struggles with many strange and whimsical machines, all of which seem to be against him. A running gag throughout the picture has the Robot Butler appearing to take away Donald's hat, with the words "Your Hat, Sir." After encountering a robotic hitch-hiker, a wrapping machine and a fully-automated baby carriage, the short ends when Donald attempts to scam a robotic barber chair and winds up getting a haircut on his behind and a shoe-shined bill.
Donald struggles with various inventions and robots throughout the cartoon, including:
Throughout the cartoon, Donald magically pulls hats out of thin air to replace those taken by the Robot Butler (often followed by "So!"). These include:
- Top hat
- Napoleonic officer hat
- Civil War kepi (however, the Robot Butler picks up on this one almost immediately after Donald puts it on and starts to give chase)
- Baby bonnet (he puts this one on whilst testing the Robot Nurse Maid)
- Bowler hat
- This is the third and final cartoon to be originally released under Mickey Mouse's name, despite Mickey himself not appearing. The first was Donald and Pluto and the second was Don Donald.
- The scene where Donald's tail feather cut by the mechanical barber chair is mentioned in the House of Mouse episode "Everybody Loves Mickey", with Goofy and Minnie talking about it, Donald believed it was from a short called "Donald's Haircut" made in 1945, and Mickey mentioning the actual episode.
- Matt Groening stated in its corresponding audio commentary that this cartoon was the inspiration for the suicide booths in the pilot of Futurama.
- The climax with the mechanical barber is the first notable story contribution to Donald Duck by future comic writer (and major Donald and Duck influence) Carl Barks.
- The Mickey Mouse Club, February 6, 1958
- The New Mickey Mouse Club, March 4, 1977
- Good Morning, Mickey, episode #15
- Mickey's Mouse Tracks, episode #7
- Donald's Quack Attack, episode #30
- Walt Disney Cartoon Classics: The Continuing Adventures of Chip 'n' Dale featuring Donald Duck (VHS)
- Donald's Greatest Hits (VHS)
- Walt Disney Treasures: The Chronological Donald, Volume One (DVD)
- Walt Disney's Fables: Volume 3