Disney's role in WW2

Toons Fighting from the home front

Disney's role in the war

During the course of world war two Disney produced multiple anti Nazi/anti Fascist propaganda cartoons, they also created insignia for many US ships and many military squads. it is estimated that the Walt Disney Company produced over 1200 insignia in all. The Disney company also created many military and naval training films.

Disney World War Two insignia

One of the most substantial contributions Disney made to the US war effort was the creation of many military and naval insignia. These insignia were created by a small team of Disney artist chosen by Walt Disney himself. The team was lead by Hank porter, Hank was an artist for Disney's Publicity Art Department from 1936-1950. Many of Disney's most iconic characters were featured in the insignia created, but because of his temper and fighting spirit Donald Duck was one of the most used character appearing on 216 different insignia

Education For Death

One of the anti Nazi propaganda films produced during the war is titled Education For Death, Education For Death is an animated cartoon that tells the story of a young German boy by the name of Hans and his education toward become a Nazi soldier. The cartoon begins with Hans's parents giving him into Hitlers army, the cartoon then talks about the distorted version of the story of sleeping beauty that the children being molded into Nazi soldiers were told. In this mangled version of the classic fairy tale the evil fairy is democracy and sleeping beauty the fair beautiful princess is the country of Germany. And as for the brave prince who rescues the princess from her eternal sleep, that brave hero is none other than Adolf Hitler. The message of that version of the classic story is that hitler saved Germany from the curse put on it by democracy and that he got Germany back on its feet.

The cartoon the cuts to a bedroom. Hans is sick and his mother is caring for him. A nazi officer arrives and informs Hans's mother that if he is not in good health soon and that if she does not stop coddling him that he will be killed. Next the cartoon talks about the young boys being taught a lesson in natural history. This lesson is shown in a sequence of a fox hunting a rabbit, the lesson the boys take from it is that the world is made for the strong and powerful and that the weak deserve to die, all of the boys got this message from the lesson except for Hans. Hans feels bad for the rabbit and this gets him punished. He is sent to the corner of the class room and shamed by the teacher. Hans soon let's the true purpose of the lesson sink in leading him one step closer to become a Nazi soldier. The film ends with a group of Nazi soldiers marching of into the sunset, this image then fades into one of rows of headstone each with a swastika carved on it and a Nazi helmet atop it. The narrator tells the audience that the young boys have completed their education, their education for death. This implying the nazi soldiers will fall in battle. Despite their ruthless training

Education For Death - Disney WWII Propaganda Cartoon

Works cited

  • Disney World War Two insignia information (2/8/2011) Disney Pins on Wings. Retrieved from:http://www.nationalmuseum.af.mil/factsheets/factsheet.asp?id=7883
  • Education for Death information retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Education_for_Death