“The Thrifty Pig” (1941) IMDb

Commentary

Walt Disney lent his studio’s artistry to the North American war effort against the Axis powers after Pearl Harbor. Some of the resulting non-fiction, including this one, conjures a powerful Orwellian zeitgeist wherein cuteness for kids meets capitalism, furious nationalist browbeating, battlefield horror and racism. Some shorts that are not actually related to war engage in a similarly masturbatory salute to unsustainable agriculture and pest control.

animation moving picture non-fiction

Also Disney war propaganda:

“7 Wise Dwarfs” (1941) IMDb

Also Disney war propaganda:

“Donald’s Decision” (1942) IMDb

Also Disney war propaganda:

“All Together” (1942) IMDb

Also Disney war propaganda:

“The New Spirit” (1942) IMDb

Commentary

Donald Duck fills out income tax forms. As the narrator explains, this allows many different kinds of guns to be made, whereby people may be killed.

animation moving picture non-fiction

Also Disney war propaganda:

“Stop That Tank!” (1942) IMDb

Commentary

An awkward combination of reserved British-accented narration, demonization of one’s fellow man, contempt for the soldier who was expected to take on tanks with a rifle, and puerile gags.

animation moving picture non-fiction

Also Disney war propaganda:

“Four Methods of Flush Riveting” (1942) IMDb

Also Disney war propaganda:

“Food Will Win the War” (1942) IMDb

Commentary

A sweater for the Earth; it sounds plausible.

animation moving picture non-fiction

Also Disney war propaganda:

“Out of the Frying Pan Into the Firing Line” (1942) IMDb

Also Disney war propaganda:

“The Grain That Built a Hemisphere” (1943) IMDb

Commentary

My eyes!

animation moving picture non-fiction

Also Disney war propaganda:

“The Spirit of ’43” (1943) IMDb

Commentary

I love how the “New Spirit” of 1942 is the identifying characteristic of '43.

animation moving picture non-fiction

Also Disney war propaganda:

“Education for Death: The Making of the Nazi” (1943) IMDb

Commentary

Blank slate bathos.

animation moving picture non-fiction

Also Disney war propaganda:

Victory Through Air Power (1943) IMDb

Also Disney war propaganda:

“Reason and Emotion” (1943) IMDb

Commentary

This is the kind of thing that looks really bad a few decades later, when cognitive science has annihilated Cartesian philosophy. The news scene is actually awesome.

animation moving picture non-fiction

Also Disney war propaganda:

“The Winged Scourge” (1943) IMDb

Commentary

Don’t listen to Rachel Carson, suck on DDT you evil monsters!

animation moving picture non-fiction

Also Disney war propaganda:

“Health for the Americas: Cleanliness Brings Health” (1945) IMDb

Also Disney war propaganda:

“Health for the Americas: The Unseen Enemy” (1945) IMDb

Commentary

Powerfully symptomatic of the makers' attitudes, which seem quite different from the awkward mix of brotherly good will and celebratory exoticism of “Saludos Amigos” (1942) and The Three Caballeros (1944). Red rings alone cannot be trusted to direct attention!!

animation moving picture non-fiction

Also Disney war propaganda:

“Health for the Americas: Planning for Good Eating” (1946) IMDb

Also Disney war propaganda:

“Defense Against Invasion” (1946) IMDb

Commentary

Man they loved that metaphor.

animation moving picture non-fiction