Donald's Decision

A Wartime Short

Release Date : January 11, 1942

Running Time : 3:34

Synopsis

Donald wrestles with his conscience in a decision of whether to buy war bonds or not.

Characters

Donald Duck
Donald's Angel
Donald's Devil

Credits

Director
Ford Beebe

DVD

United States
Disney Treasures : On the Front Lines

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 : The Canadian war bonds films roll on today, with the third in the series, Donald’s Decision. It’s the first film that has featured one of the Fab Five in this sort of propaganda, and as such, it’s probably the best of the four Canadian films.

Even though this film, like the others, uses animation from previous shorts, a better attempt has been made to craft a story for this short, rather than just copying earlier bits. Sure, the storyline is somewhat derivative of the shorts it is pulled from, but it still makes sense on its own.

Pulling from Self Control and Donald’s Better Self, this short merges parts of each to create a slightly different story. The beginning of the short comes straight from Self Control, with the radio telling Donald what he should do. In Self Control, it was how to keep his anger in check, whereas here it is to buy war savings bonds.

From there, we go into Donald’s Better Self. If you recall that short, it is one that featured an angel and devil talking Donald into attending or skipping school, respectively. This time, the issue is…you guessed it, war bonds.

There are some fun twists, though. The devil is presented as a Nazi, since he pops out of a mailbox whose flag spins around to form a swastika. And, just like in the original short, the angel divebombs the devil, but it takes on more meaning in a “war” environment.

Of the four Canadian war shorts, this one is the most entertaining by far. It shows us the true conflicted feelings people had when looking at the war, between saving money for themselves or “donating” it to the war effort. That issue is the exact reason these shorts were commissioned, and this one does the best job of them in communicating that conflict.


From Jerry Edwards : This third Canadian bond film, using animation from Donald's Better Self and Self Control shows Donald relaxing in a hammock when he is encouraged by a radio voice to buy war savings certificates. Donald yawns and begins to go to sleep, saying "Tomorrow." An angel urges Donald to buy war savings certificates NOW and a Nazi devil tells Donald to spend the money on himself. The Nazi loses the verbal arguement with the angel and "blitzes" him, but the angel recovers and, after proper retaliation, steers Donald on his rightful path to the post office. Although a "Public Service" cartoon instead of a regular entertainment cartoon, I consider it nicely done.
From Ryan : This propaganda short uses animation from a small segment of Self Control and the rest is from Donald's Better Self. I enjoyed the part where Donald's devil and his angel keep telling him how he should spend his money. As soon as the angel kicks the devil's butt, he hands Donald his piggy bank (which were actually a set of books in Donald's better self). Instead of going to school, Donald goes to the post office. This cartoon had quite a bit of entertainment value in it, but it was mainly fun historicalwise.

Referenced Comments