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The Golden Touch

A Silly Symphony

Release Date : March 22, 1935

Running Time : 10:04

Synopsis

Greedy King Midas is granted his wish that everything he touches turns to gold. He learns his lesson, however, when everyone and everything he loves, including food, turns to gold as well.

Characters

King Midas
Goldie

Credits

Director
Walt Disney
Animation
Norm Ferguson
Fred Moore
Music
Frank Churchill
Voices
Billy Bletcher

Source

Based on the story "King Midas"

Milestones

The final short directed (directly, at least) by Walt Disney.

Video

United States
Cartoon Classics : First Series : Volume 12 : Disney's Tall Tales
Germany
Verrückte Musikanten
France
Silly Symphonies Volume 1
Italy
Silly Symphonies Volume 2

Laserdiscs

Japan
The Tortoise and the Hare
More Silly Symphonies

DVD

United States
Walt Disney Animation Collection : Volume 5 : The Wind in the Willows
Timeless Tales Volume 3
Disney Treasures : Silly Symphonies
Germany
Zauberhafte Marchenwelt 4
Disney Treasures : Silly Symphonies
France
Disney Treasures : Silly Symphonies
Italy
Walt Disney Le Fiabe 2
Disney Treasures : Silly Symphonies
Sweden
Disney Treasures : Silly Symphonies
United Kingdom
Walt Disney's Fables : Volume 4
Disney Treasures : Silly Symphonies

Television

The Ink and Paint Club: Episode 50: Storyteller Mickey
The Ink and Paint Club: Episode 7: Storybook Silly Symphonies
Mickey's Mouse Tracks: Episode 17
The Mickey Mouse Club : November 17, 1955

Technical Specification

Color Type: Technicolor
Animation Type: Standard animation
Sound Mix: Mono
Aspect Ratio: 1.37 : 1
Negative Format: 35mm
Print Format: 35mm
Cinematographic Process: Spherical
Original Language: English

Released by United Artists Pictures

Comments

From Andrea Larson : Great cartoon. It sure would be cool if I could turn everything I touched to gold. I could sell it and pay for my entire college education. It certainly would suck if the food I touched turned to gold.
From Jerry Edwards : I consider this one of the worse Disney cartoons ever. From reference books I've read, Walt had been criticizing his cartoon directors severely and decided to direct this cartoon to "show them how it is done." Walt failed miserably. Years later, Walt was still overly sensitive about this failure. One animator, after being severely criticized by Walt over something, replied, "Yes, we all make mistakes. You directed The Golden Touch!" Walt stormed out of the room, but returned later and declared, "Don't ever mention that cartoon to me again if you want to continue working here!" I have always enjoyed the King Midas story. I felt it had an important moral, told in an entertaining way. But the Disney version just stinks - the ending of the king giving up his golden touch and everything else he owns for just a hamburger is so stupid that it irritates me everything I even think of it.
From Rachel Newstead : Frankly, I don't understand why this cartoon is trashed so thoroughly by everyone from animation insiders to hardcore fans. Because Midas, stripped of his gold, begs for a hamburger at the end? If you understand Walt's sense of humor, it's not so jarring. He had a long tradition of modernizing (and Americanizing) classic stories, dating back to the Laugh-O-Grams days. I thought it was rather amusing, actually, with the king sitting there in his underwear, his crown replaced with a Happy Hooligan-like tin can hat.

This cartoon, on the whole, is actually on a par with other Silly Symphonies of the day, and is certainly more watchable than Father Noah's Ark or Lullaby Land. It also shows some unique Disney personality touches in the person of King Midas. Any other studio would have made the king a one-note character, but Disney's Midas is more subtle--you could see the insecurity lurking beneath his greed.

I'm confused about the "director" credit in this cartoon. An animation director generally does the key sketches in a cartoon, and Walt hadn't drawn a line since the mid-twenties. What exactly did Walt do on this picture that differed from his normal contribution? No history of animation tells us precisely. me everything I even think of it.


From Jeremy Fassler : I hate this cartoon, but I find it more watchable than Father Noah's Ark or Lullaby Land. It's the worst cartoon ever. King Midas is an annoying guy and Goldie the fairy is much much worse. The animation is not impressive, for Fred Moore and Norman "Fergie" Ferguson. Please don't see this unless you want to find out why Walt got mad when his staff mentioned it.
From Steve Segal : I agree with Rachel Newstead. I like this cartoon and have never understood why it's so despised. It's not one of the all time classics and it is a bit too long, but it is fun. I especially enjoy all the different ways stuff turn into gold like a water fountain spouting a spray of coins and King Midas bending the corner of his gold sheet napkin. I understand Disney's job as director involved working the exposure sheets, much like Bill Hanna's job on his co-directing efforts.
From Jeff Wiener : Aw c'mon guys. This cartoon isn't so bad. In fact, I think it's great. I did feel a bit sorry for Midas at the end because he lost everything due to his insatiable greed. However, I suppose Midas deserved what he got. But he could have been left with just a little bit more than a hamburger with onions, don'tcha think? The scene where Midas looks into the mirror and sees a skeleton dressed in his own royal robes has a bit of chilling quality. The part where he changed the cat into gold was a bit tasteless. I love cats and as a result, found this scene a bit offensive. Goldie certainly was a spritely little character. I liked the way he said 'Toodle OO', just before he disappeared.
From Rasmus Jung : It was funny! I think every old Silly Symphony cartoon is enjoying to watch.

But it was very fun to watch, and told you a very serious teaching about the golden touch ... But WHAT HAPPENED TO THE CAT! It just disappeared, so was it supposed to die or did it just disappear as gold? I think that Disney could have let it return to its old form, in the end of the cartoon.


From Baruch Weiss : This short might be okay for the young people but I don't know about the old people!
From Gijs Grob : One of those moralistic Silly Symphonies of the mid-thirties, this weak entry was the last cartoon to be directed by Walt Disney himself. Here, the greedy king Midas is confronted by the moralistic goblin 'Goldie' who grants the king the golden touch, which, naturally, soon becomes a curse to the king. In the end he exchanges everything for the ultimate American dream: the hamburger (with onions). In spite of his greediness king Midas is quite a likable character. Most notably so, when he's singing "the golden touch" while dancing and playfully touching everything to gold in his garden. The weird thing is that the king can easily touch his own clothes without turning them to gold.
From Tanya : To answer your question, it was bashed (in my opinion) because it is very inaccurate! I like it, but after translating Ovid, it is way off.

Referenced Comments