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Disney During World War II:

How the Walt Disney Studio Contributed to Victory in the War

Hardcover (192 pages)
Walt Disney deeply invested himself in the war by patriotically placing his studio at the disposal of Uncle Sam, producing films, shorts and features, home front posters and stunning military unit insignias that provided those serving the in the armed forces with a morale-boosting reminder of home.

Disney During World War II:

Disney During World War II encompasses the full range of material created by the Disney studio during the war, including ground-breaking training and educational films for the military and defense industries, propaganda and war-themed shorts and features, home front poster art, and the stunning military unit insignia that provided those serving the in the armed forces with a morale-boosting reminder of home.

The book makes it clear how deeply Walt invested himself in the cause by patriotically placing his studio at the disposal of Uncle Sam.

Replete with period graphics, Disney During World War II showcases Walt Disney's largely unheralded sacrifices in the pursuit of Allied victory, showing the inner workings of a wholesome family entertainment studio transformed almost overnight into a war plant where even the studio's stable of established characters were temporarily reinvented as warriors and team-oriented, patriotic American citizens.

Animated cartoons and World War II...

World War II changed the possibilities for animation. Prior to the war, animation was seen as a form of childish entertainment. The attack on Pearl Harbor was a turning point in its utility.

On December 8, 1941, the US Army began working with Walt Disney at his studio, stationing Army personnel there for the duration of the war. The Army and Disney set about making various types of films for several different audiences. Most films meant for the public included some type of propaganda, while films for the troops included training and education about a given topic.

Films intended for the public were often meant to build morale. They allowed Americans to release their anger and frustration through ridicule and crude humor. Many films simply reflected the war culture and were pure entertainment. Others carried strong messages meant to arouse public involvement or set a public mood.

Animated cartoons allowed the government to spread their message in a much more entertaining manner, especially when it came to War Bond drives.

Related Scanning WWII links...

  • 27 Jul 40: Bugs Bunny makes his screen debut
  • 01 Jan 43: Disney releases "Der Fuehrer's Face"
  • 20 May 44: Merrie Melodies releases "Russian Rhapsody"

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