Donald has the same old problem dealing with his three troublesome nephews, and is torn between using psychology or losing his temper.
Donald is using his typical strong arm tactics to try to get his nephews to do their chores - they keep sneaking off to play games, like "Indians on the warpath." The "child psychologist" convinces Donald to join in the games, using the game to get the nephews to do their chores. Complicating matters are the cannibals, who have escaped from a circus. They spot Donald and think he would make great duck stew. Donald mistakes the cannibals for his nephews playing games and plays along until his real nephews play with him, realizing the other three are real cannibals. His nephews take off in fear while the cannibals try to cook Donald, who is praying for his life to be spared until one of the cannibals bites Donald to "taste" him. Donald loses his temper and takes the cannibals out to the woodshed. The cannibals take off and Donald, seeing his nephews, angrily chases them back to doing their chores. Donald then takes the "child psychologist" to the woodpile.
Because Spare the Rod depicted racial stereotypes of native Africans via the appearances of the pygmy cannibals, though being also anthropomorphic red-nosed animals, and Donald allegedly saying the B-word (he actually says "brats", but it was misinterpreted as profanity due to his unintelligible "duck voice"), all scenes depicting the cannibals are deleted when shown on television. The censored version of the short is rendered very short, since its runtime has been greatly reduced from 6 minutes (not counting credits) to 2½ minutes.
The uncut version of this short is available fully restored on Walt Disney Treasures: The Chronological Donald, Volume Four.
- Donald Duck (voiced by Clarence Nash)
- Huey, Dewey, and Louie (voiced by Clarence Nash)
- The Voice of Child Psychology (voiced by Bill Thompson)
- Pygmy Cannibals (voiced by Pinto Colvig)
- Casey Junior (Cameo)
Home video releases
- Walt Disney Treasures: The Chronological Donald, Volume Four (Uncut)