|Donald Duck series|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Jack King|
|Produced by||Walt Disney|
|Story by||Ralph Wright|
|Voices by||Clarence Nash
|Music by||Edward H. Plumb|
|Animation by||Paul Allen
|Layouts by||Ernie Nordli|
|Backgrounds by||Merle Cox|
|Studio||Walt Disney Productions|
|Distributed by||RKO Radio Pictures|
|Release date(s)||29 June 1945|
|Running time||8 min|
|Preceded by||The Eyes Have It|
|Followed by||Duck Pimples|
Donald's Crime is a 1945 American animated short film produced by Walt Disney Productions and released by RKO Radio Pictures. The cartoon, which parodies film noir crime dramas popular at the time, follows Donald Duck as he struggles with guilt after stealing $1.25 from his nephews. The film was directed by Jack King and features original music by Edward H. Plumb. The voice cast includes Clarence Nash as Donald, Huey, Dewey, and Louie; Gloria Blondell as Daisy Duck, and an uncredited narrator. This was Blondell's first performance as Daisy and marks the debut of the character's "normal" voice. Her last speaking role had been in Mr. Duck Steps Out where she was voiced by Nash and had a duck voice like Donald.
Donald's Crime was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film at the 18th Academy Awards in 1946 but lost to Quiet Please!, an MGM Tom and Jerry film. It was the fourth such nomination for the Donald Duck film series.
One evening while eagerly awaiting a date with Daisy, Donald Duck realizes he doesn't have any money. "I'm financially embarrassed!" he moans while pondering what to do. Then he sees Huey, Duey, and Louie's piggy bank, and following a brief battle with his conscience, takes it. After sending the nephews to bed, Donald breaks open the piggy bank, takes the money (totaling $1.25), and goes on to have a wonderful time with Daisy.
Later that evening Donald drops Daisy off at her house. She kisses him and calls him a "big shot." As Donald starts walking home, his conscience tells him "Yes sir, she thinks you're a 'big shot!' You probably look like a millionaire to her... but you're NOT!" His conscience then points out that bank robbery is a federal offense. Donald starts to feel guilty for having stolen the money and starts to run, imagining that federal agents are chasing him. As the film continues his visions become even more disturbed and nightmarish.
At last Donald corners himself in a dark alley and thinks he is in jail. He frantically grabs the bars of a door window and shakes it. "Let me out of here! Let me out!" A sign falls off and hits him in the head. It's a 'help wanted' sign, and Donald discovers the door is just the service entrance of an all night cafe. Donald works through the night and pays the boys back, "and a nickel besides." However, when the nephews wake up, they see Donald trying to take the extra nickel from the rebuilt piggy bank, and start crying when they noticed the cracks in the bank and that he stole from them. Donald's conscience says "You see, chum? Crime doesn't pay."
- 1945 – Original theatrical release
- 1961 – Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color, episode #8.6: "Inside Donald Duck" (TV)
- c. 1983 – Good Morning, Mickey!, episode #63
- 1984 – "Cartoon Classics: More of Disney's Best: 1932-1946" (VHS)
- c. 1992 – Mickey's Mouse Tracks, episode #28 (TV)
- c. 1992 – Donald's Quack Attack, episode #11 (TV)
- 1998 – The Ink and Paint Club, episode #1.34: "Donald's Nephews" (TV)
- 2002 – Bonus on DVD of The Great Mouse Detective (DVD)
- 2005 – The Chronological Donald, Volume Two (DVD)
- 2006 – Classic Cartoon Favorites: Best Pals: Donald and Daisy (DVD)
- 2010 – iTunes download