Silly Symphonies

film 39 of 61

The Golden Touch

Film Review by Dean Duncan Jul 6, 2015

You’ll have heard of this one, maybe. Directed by Walt Disney himself, and so badly that he actually suppressed it, and never returned to directing again. Well, maybe Disney was a better manager/mogul than he was as an artist. (And yet saying it that way suddenly sounds so simple-minded! After all, what is that special something that attends these dozens and scores, and scores, of Disney productions? Over decades, and spanning genres and idioms? And what or who is the common denominator?) And yet, it’s not that bad!

It’s not that great either. The settings are good. There’s some very happy business (the birdbath, the fountain) when Midas first starts turning things to gold. And his mounting hunger really registers, as does the lesson that goes with it. The golden grim reaper is also good, if a little cosmologically confusing.

But an elf named Goldie? A grizzled leprechaun with a child’s voice? The thees and thous are awkward. And who took the daughter out of this scenario? She’s a potential source of Tiny Tim excess, but she’s also the emotional centre of the whole story. Without her, we don’t quite care as much. Speaking of vulgarity, though (The Goddess of Spring, q.v.), I actually quite like that Midas’s first request after returning to normality is a hamburger with onions.