The Volunteer Worker

A Commercial Short

Release Date : September 1, 1940

Synopsis

A trailer created for the Community Chest features Donald as a charity collector having a hard time.

Characters

Donald Duck

Credits

Director
Riley Thompson
Asst. Director
Ray de Vally

DVD

United States
Disney Treasures : Wave 5 : The Chronological Donald Volume 2
Germany
Disney Treasures : Wave 5 : The Chronological Donald Volume 2
Disney Treasures : Wave 3 : The Chronological Donald Volume 1
Italy
Disney Treasures : Wave 3 : The Chronological Donald Volume 1
Sweden
Disney Treasures : Wave 3 : The Chronological Donald Volume 1
United Kingdom
Disney Treasures : Wave 3 : The Chronological Donald Volume 1

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

Comments

From Ryan Kilpatrick at The Disney Film Project : A short review today for a super short film – The Volunteer Worker, a commercial short made by Disney to emphasize the importance of volunteer work and charity. And what would the best character be for this? Mickey? Goofy? No, instead Disney went with the biggest star of the time – Donald Duck.

The short is a simple one – Donald goes door to door asking for donations, but keeps getting the door slammed in his face. There are some fun gags, but nothing too groundbreaking. It’s in the choice of Donald and the message that sends that makes this interesting.

Sure, Donald was Disney’s biggest star, but if you think about generosity or kindness, you probably don’t immediately think of Donald. So why then, would Disney use him in this short? My guess is that it made the message resonate even more.

The ultimate aim of the short is to show that if everyone gave a little, then everyone would be better off. This is demonstrated at the end, when a street construction guy gives Donald some money and gets a shiny badge in return. But think about it – if Donald is this concerned, and showing genuine empathy for once, then shouldn’t you, the viewer be concerned?

It’s a brilliant choice, even if it might have been inadvertent. Donald, as I’ve said before, is the character that most of us really are, as opposed to Mickey, who we want to be. That’s what makes him so relatable. And by picking him to illustrate this point, it makes it more impactful to us.


From Jerry Edwards : Donald is very discouraged due to his lack of success in collecting for the Community Chest charity. A kindly ditchdigger bucks up Donald's spirits by contributing and giving testimony on how the Community Chest had helped him and his family. A "short short" - only about 2 1/2 minutes long, but well animated.
From Ryan : A Donald Duck short made for the Community Chest. Donald is having a lot of trouble collecting for the Community Chest, but gets a donation from a sympathetic ditchdigger. Not really a comedy cartoon, but contains great animation.
From Baruch Weiss : Truly a short short, but well done nevertheless and it teaches an important lesson to give charity. Just because we work all our life to get money does not mean we can keep it all ourselves, we all must help and give some away.