|The Golden Touch|
|Directed by||Walt Disney|
|Produced by||Walt Disney|
|Story by||Albert Hurter|
|Music by||Frank Churchill|
|Animation by||Norm Ferguson|
|Distributed by||United Artists|
The extremely rich King Midas never cares for women nor wine and never gets enough of his gold, wishing one day that everything he touched would turn to gold. An elf named Goldie appears in front of him and offers him the Golden Touch, demonstrating its magical power by turning the king's cat to gold, then claps his hands and snaps his fingers to change it back. Midas tries to offer up everything he owns in exchange ("My gold, my kingdom, everything for the Golden Touch!"), but is warned by Goldie that "To you, the Golden Touch would prove a golden curse." Midas however derides this -eventually exclaiming "Fiddlesticks! Give me gold, not advice!"- and Goldie gives him the Golden Touch ("I gave the advice, now I give thee gold.").
At first Midas is happy about his newfound power. He turns his cat and several things in his garden to gold, then talks to himself in his mirror about turning the Earth and then the Universe to gold. But then he finds out he can neither eat nor drink anymore; even his bite turns a roast chicken to gold. Deprived of his food and fearing starvation, he asks himself in his mirror "Is the richest king in all the world to starve to death?". He hallucinates himself as a golden skeleton form in his mirror which nods in reply to his question.
Horrified, Midas tries to flee the castle, but as he approaches the castle gate, he sees his shadow morph into a golden Grim Reaper, after which a terrified Midas flees back to his counting room where the short began. He summons the elf, crying, "Take away this golden curse, don't let me starve! Take everything, my gold, my kingdom for a hamburger sandwich!" Goldie agrees to take back the Golden Touch in exchange for everything Midas possesses, including his castle, his crown (replacing it with a tin can), and even his clothes (sparing only his undergarments). In return, Midas is given only the hamburger he begged for. Instead of bemoaning his poverty, Midas (first touching the burger to see if Goldie kept his word) devours the burger joyfully, grateful that it came with onions.
The Golden Touch was an attempt by Walt Disney to direct a cartoon, which he hadn't done for five years. Disney had been criticizing his cartoon directors, and decided to direct the cartoon himself. He was dissatisfied with the result and forbade his workers to talk about it.
Despite being an infamous disappointment, the short was released on the 2001 Walt Disney Treasures DVD box set Silly Symphonies as well as Walt Disney's Timeless Tales/Wave Two/Volume Three in 2006.