Poster

Donald's Crime

A Donald Duck Cartoon

Release Date : June 29, 1945

Running Time : 8:02

Synopsis

Donald breaks into his nephew's piggy bank to afford a date with Daisy, then afterwards must face up to his guilt.

Characters

Donald Duck
Daisy Duck
Huey, Dewey and Louie

Credits

Director
Jack King
Animation
Paul Allen
Don Towsley
John Meador
Harvey Toombs
Backgrounds
Merle T. Cox
Layout
Ernie Nordli
Story
Ralph Wright
Music
Edward Plumb

Awards

Nominated for an Academy Award (Short Subjects - Cartoons)

Cut Scenes

A scenes showing the nephews paying with a toy gun has been cut. Also cut was a scene showing Donald smoking a cigar.

Video

United States
Cartoon Classics : First Series : Volume 7 : More of Disney's Best 1932-1946
Germany
Tick, Trick und Tracks Größte Hits
Donald Duck in die Größte Show der Welt
France
Le Meilleur de Riri, Fifi, LouLou
Donald Superstar
Italy
Paperino 60 Anni in Allegria
I Capolavori di Qui Quo Qua

Laserdiscs

Japan
Donald's Golden Jubilee

DVD

United States
Disney Treasures : Wave 5 : The Chronological Donald Volume 2
Classic Cartoon Favorites : Volume 10 : Best Pals : Donald and Daisy
The Great Mouse Detective
Germany
Disney Treasures : Wave 5 : The Chronological Donald Volume 2
Basil der Grosse Mause Detektiv (Special Edition)
France
The Great Mouse Detective
Italy
Basil L'Investigatopo
Canada
Classic Cartoon Favorites : Volume 11 : Best Pals : Donald and Daisy
Sweden
Master Detektiven Basilmus
United Kingdom
The Great Mouse Detective

Television

The Ink and Paint Club: Episode 34: Donald's Nephews
Mickey's Mouse Tracks: Episode 28
Donald's Quack Attack: Episode 11

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 RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.

Comments

From Ryan Kilpatrick at The Disney Film Project : I said it before and I will say it again – Donald works best when he is angry. In Donald’s Crime, he isn’t angry, he’s guilty. If you have been following Donald for a while now, you know that guilt is not an emotion that comes naturally to him. That dissonant fact leads to a disjointed short.

The premise is that Donald needs money for a date with Daisy, but he’s completely broke. So, in a fit of evil, he breaks Huey, Dewey and Louie’s piggy bank and steals their money. If it sound despicable, that’s because it is. But Donald is supposed to do despicable things, right? That’s his modus operandi.

So what I expected from the short was for Donald to have to sneak around and nearly get caught several different times. In a sense that’s what happens, but the execution is a little flawed. Donald puts the boys to bed, runs off to his date with Daisy and has a swell time. There’s a fun bit of dancing there that will be familiar to anyone who watched the original Disney Channel in the 80s. But then, as he leaves Daisy at her door, he starts to feel the guilt.

The animation and inventiveness of this sequence is really top notch. Whether you agree with the story choice or not, you have to hand it to the artists who did this work. Donald changes from a man on top of the world in a nice suit to a trenchcoated gangster. Then, he makes his way through the city in a surrealist fashion, leaping from tall buildings only to land near another, clawing for safety and ultimately failing.

He ends up repaying the boys by staying out all night at a café and becoming a dishwasher for the evening. It sort of makes you wonder why he couldn’t have done that in the first place. The whole thing seems just a bit off. I can easily imagine a short where Donald steals the money and tries to misdirect the boys from finding out.

Again, the issue is that Donald doesn’t get angry in this one, except to snap at the boys before they find out. I have no problem with him feeling guilt, but it needs to be channeled appropriately for our amusement. Lately in the Disney shorts of 1945, it seems that the artists and writers lost sight of what made their characters unique. I’m hoping that changes going forward.


From J. D. Weil : To those who read this comment, can anyone tell me how Donald can take Daisy out for a night on the town, wine her and dine her at a night club, all for $1.35? (the amount taken out of the boys' piggy bank, plus a nickel) I know costs were pretty cheap back on the '40's what, with price controls and all that, but they weren't THAT cheap!
From Joe : Donald Duck is my favorite character and this is one of my favorite cartoons with him in it.
From Ryan : This cartoon depicts Donald as a dishonest duck. He has a date with Daisy, but has no money. He steals from his nephews' piggy bank. How much money was in there anyway? It sure doesn't look like enough to buy dinner for him and Daisy (unless of course Daisy paid for her own dinner). After Daisy drops him off, he imagines himself as a criminal. Things turn out better for Donald at the end though: he gets a job as a dishwasher in order to pay his nephews back. This was a good cartoon with a lot of suspense.
From Gijs Grob : One of the most inspired Donald Duck shorts ever. All Donald's inner thoughts about himself are shown as reality. He is shown as a big shot, a playboy, a gangster and a prisoner. His fantasy completely runs away with him. Contains some excellent hot jazz (which makes the horns melt) and an electrifying kiss, as well.
From Per Nilsson : In this cartoon Donald is in control, he is the one who get himself into trouble by robbing his nephews piggy bank, and it is he who realize that he has done something wrong. This is a very pleasant change from the 'normal' situation, where something or someone is harassing Donald. (Like those cursed chipmunks) The short has a good plot and ending so this is clearly one of the better Donald shorts ever made.
From Baruch Weiss : Donald was not being very nice in this cartoon. I would have just asked the nephews if I could borrow some money and later on I'd pay them back!

Referenced Comments