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quarta-feira, 13 de julho de 2011

Hitler and Donald the Duck

You probably heard that at the year of 1940 the world was a very different place, with a lot of things happening and among them one very meaningful thing called “World War II”. This is year was also when “Fantasia” by Disney was released, costing a lot, but not making much money back, putting the company in a state of almost bankruptcy. The solution was accept to produce 32 short movies to the government of USA. This deal saved Disney and created some animated movies which can offer a very interesting portrait of reality and mindset of that time.

In YouTube you can find many of these movies, including some not produced by Disney. I chose 3, all from the house of Mickey Mouse. Get your popcorn, open your mind to understand these are old cartoons, talking about a far away time and enjoy.

The first video is called “The Spirit of 43”, it was released in 1943 (oh, really?), staring Donald the Duck and basically it is about how the american citizen had the obligation to save money to pay all the taxes that were being charged at the time because of the costs of the war. As a curious fact, this cartoon has the first apparition of what would later become Scrooge McDuck.

The second one is also from 1943 and it’s called “Education for Death”. The short movie tells the story of the German Hanz, from the moment in which he is born until the moment he became and adult. The movie talks about the schools and how people were conditioned to have some believes and behaviors which would shape the kind of adults the Nazis wanted. Here, once again, I ask you to open your mind, just in case. This is a historic piece, of a very complicate time, try not to take things full serious and remember that many exaggerations are intended to pass a specific message. The basic plot is based on a book from Gregor Zimmer, a educator who lived in Germany between 1928 and 1939 and he could see this methods being developed and used in school. I think it is interesting to notice the option the movie has made to mix English and German, even if you just need to know English to understand it, maybe to use the German language as an element of “Look how strange they are, look how strange they speak!”, or something like that.

The third and last movie is called “Der Fuehrer’s Face”, once again staring Donald the Duck. This animation was launched in 1942 and it won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film. The story is about the German citizen and how the Nazi regime would treat this citizen, being Donald the citizen. The vision here is more directed towards to be funny than the other 2 videos. It even has a clock saying “Heil Hitler”.

Click to know more:
About Disney | About "Fantasia"
About Scrooge McDuck | About “The Spirit of 43”
About “Education for Death” | About “Der Fuehrer’s Face”