March 22, 1935 – The Silly Symphony, The Golden Touch, is Released to Theaters
“Is this the great man that bellowed, ‘Give me gold, not advice?’”
On March 22, 1935, the Silly Symphony, The Golden Touch, was released to theaters. Based on the tale of King Midas, it was directed by Walt Disney himself, who thought that this would be an easy task. Finding it was more work than he thought, Walt did not direct another short again. The music was written by Frank Churchill, and stars Billy Bletcher as the voice of King Midas.
The short opens in the vaults of the kingdom, where King Midas is happily counting his gold. He introduces himself to the audience, stating that he never cared for women or wine, but instead loves and worships gold. He then wishes that he could have everything he touched turn to gold. No sooner has he made this wish when a strange creature appears named Goldie. Midas is afraid that Goldie is there to steal his gold, but Goldie tells Midas that he, Goldie, doesn’t want it, and shows Midas that he can turn things to gold with a single touch. Midas offers everything he owns for the golden touch, but Goldie warns Midas that this would be a curse rather than a blessing. Midas doesn’t want Goldie’s advice, so Goldie finally gives the king what he wishes.
Now armed with the golden touch, Midas is determined to test it out. He chases his cat up the stairs of the castle, and as Midas runs into a tree, the tree suddenly turns to gold, dropping 18K apples, and the 18K cat as well. Midas skips around gleefully, incredibly happy that he has the golden touch, and begins touching everything he can, from flowers to fountains.
Some time later, a hungry King Midas sits down to eat a hearty meal, only to find that he is unable to eat anything, as it all turns to gold. Angered, he begins to turn all of the food to gold, and seems to go mad over the fact that Goldie had been right about it being a curse. He moans that the richest king in the world must now starve to death, and is chased by illusions of death. He locks himself in his counting room and calls out for Goldie, who appears, laughing.
Midas, thrilled to see that Goldie has appeared, begs the creature to take away the curse, so he can eat once more. He offers everything he has, and even offers his kingdom for a hamburger. Goldie laughs and teases, “With or without onions?” The king begs for just a plain old hamburger, and Goldie finally agrees to take back the curse, in exchange for everything the king possesses.
As Goldie disappears, Midas looks around wildly, before seeing his entire kingdom disappear before his eyes, as well as his clothes, save for his undershirt and boxers, with his crown now nothing more than a tin can. As promised, his hamburger appears in front of him, and as he sits down to eat it, he pauses, afraid that he still possesses the golden touch. He is relieved to find that it has indeed been taken away, and that Goldie also gave him onions.