The Volunteer Worker

The Volunteer Worker, a commercial short made by Disney to emphasize the importance of volunteer work and charity. The short is a simple one – Donald goes door to door asking for donations, but keeps getting the door slammed in his face. There are some fun gags, but nothing too groundbreaking. It’s in the choice of Donald and the message that sends that makes this interesting. Sure, Donald was Disney’s biggest star, but if you think about generosity or kindness, you probably don’t immediately think of Donald. The ultimate aim of the short is to show that if everyone gave a little, then everyone would be better off. This is demonstrated at the end, when a street construction guy gives Donald some money and gets a shiny badge in return. It’s a brilliant choice, even if it might have been inadvertent. Donald is the character that most of us really are, as opposed to Mickey, who we want to be. That’s what makes him so reliable. And by picking him to illustrate this point, it makes it more impactful to us.