GenreFamily, Comedy, Animation Music directorOliver Wallace Duration
Release dateJuly 11, 1947 ProductionWalt Disney Animation Studios CastClarence Nash, Gloria Blondell Similar moviesPacific Rim, Paperman, Get a Horse!, Feast, Elmer Elephant, The Artist
Donald's Dilemma is a 1947 Walt Disney Studios animated cartoon directed by Jack King and starring Donald and Daisy Duck. It was originally released on July 11, 1947 in the United States. This short is somewhat of a misnomer. Although Donald is the official headliner for this cartoon, Daisy is the actual protagonist. The dilemma of the title is actually offered to her, not to Donald.
Donald's Dilemma starts with Daisy narrating her problem to an unseen psychologist through flashback scenes. Her problem started on a spring day when she was out on a date with Donald and a flower pot fell on his head. He regained consciousness soon enough but with some marked differences. His singing voice was improved to Frank Sinatra. However, Donald had no memory of who Daisy was. He became a well-known crooner and his rendition of "When You Wish Upon a Star" from Pinocchio (which had been released seven years earlier) became a hit, which gave him a large number of fans. Daisy's loss resulted in a number of psychological symptoms - she suffered from anorexia, insomnia and self-described insanity. An often censored scene features her losing her will to live and pointing a gun at her head She decided that she would see Donald once again, at any cost, but failed to do so. That's when she decided to go to the psychologist - and the flashback meets the actual time of the cartoon.
At the end of the cartoon, the psychologist determines that Donald would regain his memory of Daisy if another flower pot (with the same flower from the first pot, which Daisy kept as the only thing she had to remember Donald) would fall on his head. But he warns that his improved voice may be lost along with his singing career. He offers Daisy a dilemma. Either the world has its singer but Daisy loses him or Daisy regains Donald but the world loses him. Posed with the question "her or the world", Daisy answers with a resounding and possessive scream - "Me! Me! Me! MEEE!!". Soon, Donald returns to his old self and forgets about his singing career and Daisy regains her lover.
Daisy is the protagonist for once. She reportedly displays "a ruthlessly self-centered neurotic streak". She maintains the audience's sympathy throughout the film.
The film is unusual for a Disney short in featuring a definite story with a premise, plot development, and a resolution, not simply a series of gags. The central idea is cleverly developed and brilliantly characterized.
Jack King was typically solid as a director, but this film is an unusually atmospheric entry in his filmography.
1947 – Theatrical release
1961 – Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color, episode #8.6: "Inside Donald Duck" (TV)