I know what you're thinking.

"Andy, are you.... alright?"

Yes. I'm just kidding. You were thinking, "is there anything more interesting than an alarm clock app?" And you would usually be correct in your sarcastic question. Thanks a lot Chandler Bing. But you might want to take a seat for this. (Unless you're at a standing desk, in which case we're all very proud of you but you should have a seat too).

Disney has released an alarm clock application for iOS. I know! Finally. The app stars Donald Duck as your friend and companion and wake up call.


The thought of an animated duck who likely suffers from PTSD greeting me in the morning seems like a whimsical solution to a mundane problem. I really do hate alarm clocks. There is no beep or marimba that is ever not annoying when it thrusts you from the warm embrace of Nemo's Dreamland into the sweaty travesty that is Reality in Brooklyn at Dawn during a New York summer.

Now, being the purveyor of whimsy that I am, I often indulge in such silly fanfare, for the sake of alleviating my never-ending existential crisis in a harsh and indifferent world. So when the universe hands me an animated Disney app to rouse me from my slumber, well giddy up hombre, we're going for a ride.

As you start the app, Donald Duck himself stands in front of you in his classic blue naval garb, a pre-WWII officer full of optimism and untapped foie gras, pantsless and free. Donald is ready for action. Donald is ready to wake you the fuck up.

You can also change his outfit. Donald can wear a pith helmet with a khaki safari coat, or a 1920s fireman costume. Sure, why not, whatever. Apparently these outfits were pay-per-view in-app-puchases, but they are currently included gratis. Disney's generosity is rivaled only by the Gates Foundation.


There are three buttons you can press while admiring the duck. An exclamation mark tosses him in the air in an act of violent nihilism, to which he angrily requests you "cut it out." You can click on a trophy icon; Donald replies "hooray!" towards anonymous applause. And more perplexingly, you can cause a golf club to drop from the sky. Of course, swiping your finger across the screen causes Donald to take a triumphant swing with the club. Kids just really love golf so I'm sure that's a crowd pleaser. You can also tickle Donald, and if you shake the phone, he stumbles around like a drunkard on the Andy Griffith Show.

But that's not why you paid 99 cents for this app. You paid 99 cents so that Donald Duck would wake you the fuck up in the morning.

Setting the time and volume and all that is simple enough. Disney actually recommends that you leave your phone unlocked and plugged in so that Donald is the first thing you see in the morning, without the lock screen interrupting; I let the app go through the notification center. Same difference.

And so it was that at sunrise, Donald Duck violently shouted at me through a somnolent daze. It was disturbing.

The barbaric yawp of a dyspeptic duck in his signature throes of spit-filled convulsions is quite surprising when it jars you from deep sleep. Dare I say... it was unpleasant. The usual iPhone marimba is the soft cooing of a siren by comparison.

The horror! Donald, shut up! Donald! Gawd Dammit Donald shut up!

Maybe the kids will like it.

One would assume from the language on the official Disney site that Donald is just the first in a cavalcade of characters to screech at you in the morning. Perhaps Goofy will oh-garsh and wa-hoo-hoo-hooey your slumber away and Mickey will politely giggle. One would hope. For now, Donald Duck remains the only option. I would even welcome the Gaelic intonations of Uncle Scrooge to pester me awake while lecturing about the value of a penny.

Rating: Five Gold Coins. Download Wake Up With Disney on iTunes.