Daisy’s dilemma. 1947 and dark Disney imagery.

My current book project, Molly, is a creative non-fiction tragedy that centres around a suicide in 1947.

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Suicides were well publicized back then, often featured on the front pages of newspapers.

Searching online images “suicide, 1947,” the image that inevitably comes up is the photo titled “the most beautiful suicide“- a haunting and iconic image.

But as I scrolled down yesterday, I came across another haunting and shocking image— of Daisy Duck!  I just had to draw it!  What is happening here?  Daisy, are you OK?!

My Dad taught me how to draw Donald Duck when I was a kid, and those cartoons were some of Dad’s favorites.  I wish he were alive so he could discuss this heartbreaking, troubling and fascinating image with me.

I drew it from a screenshot from the 1947 animation: Donald’s Dilemma:

Donald’s Dilemma is a 1947 Walt Disney Studios animated cartoon directed by Jack King and starring Donald and Daisy Duck. It was originally released on July 11, 1947 in the United States. Although Donald is the official headliner for this cartoon, Daisy is the actual protagonist. The dilemma of the title is actually offered to her, not to Donald. – source

Daisy’s loss resulted in a number of psychological symptoms – she suffered from anorexia, insomnia and self-described insanity. An often censored scene features her losing her will to live and pointing a gun at her head. She decided that she would see Donald once again, at any cost, but failed to do so. That’s when she decided to go to the psychologist – and the flashback meets the actual time of the cartoon. – source

 

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