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Peace on Earth (1939) More at IMDbPro »


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Release Date:
9 December 1939 (USA) See more »
Two baby squirrels ask grandpa to explain what "men" are when he comes in singing "peace on earth, goodwill to men". Grandpa tells the story of man's last war. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Nominated for Oscar. See more »
User Reviews:
A beautiful film, but a flawed, simplistic philosophy See more (16 total) »


  (in alphabetical order)

Mel Blanc ... Grandpa Squirrel (voice) (uncredited)
The Hollywood Choir Boys ... Vocalists (voice) (uncredited)

Directed by
Hugh Harman (uncredited)
Produced by
Hugh Harman .... producer
Fred Quimby .... producer (uncredited)
Original Music by
Scott Bradley (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
9 min
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
UK:U | USA:Passed (National Board of Review) | USA:Approved (PCA #5738) | USA:TV-G (TV rating)

Did You Know?

This short film is available as a bonus on the Warner DVD of A Christmas Carol (1938).See more »
Grandpa Squirrel:Good will to men, yes, good will to men.
Baby Squirrel 1:What are men, Grandpa?
Baby Squirrel 2:Yeah, Grandpa, what are men?
Grandpa Squirrel:Huh? What's that?... Well there ain't no men in the world no more, sonnys... nope, no more men. But as I remember the critters, well they was like monsters. They wore great big iron pots on their heads. They walked on their hind legs, and they carried terrible-looking shootin' irons with knives on the end of them. And their eyes flashed, and they had these tremendous big snoots, like this, that curled down and fastened onto their stomachs.
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Movie Connections:
Edited into Tom and Jerry Christmas Special (1987) (TV)See more »
Silent Night, Holy NightSee more »


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6 out of 10 people found the following review useful.
A beautiful film, but a flawed, simplistic philosophy, 14 February 2008
Author: NavyOrion from United States

This is a beautifully-made and quite poignant animated short film, but while no one can doubt the sincerity of the sentiment, it reduces the discussion of war to a level of simplification unfitting for the subject. To diminish such a topic to a five-minute short, and to aim it at children using anthropomorphic squirrels (or mice, in the 1950 remake "Good Will to Men") is the essence of propaganda.

In 1939, Europe was torn by Nazi aggression, but the United States had yet to enter the war. Many people of good conscience were arguing that the U.S. should remain neutral, essentially ceding all of Europe to the tender mercies of Adolf Hitler. It was in this climate that "Peace on Earth" was made, arguing that both sides in a conflict are morally equivalent, since both have violated the commandment "Thou Shalt Not Kill" (which is more correctly translated as "Thou Shalt Not Commit Murder", a very different thing.) It's a good thing that minds of more mature reasoning decided that it would be very necessary for us to fight the Axis powers.

"Peace on Earth" comes from the same sort of personality that states in all earnestness that "war never solves anything" while conveniently ignoring the many things that war has indeed solved: tyranny, oppression, slavery, genocide, fascism, Nazism, and (in the cold war) Soviet communism; the elimination of totalitarian Islamist extremism is still underway.

Peace is not just the absence of war, but the presence of justice, and there are some things for which is is worth while to fight or even die. Diplomacy is of course preferable to armed conflict, but if honorable goals are abandoned in the course of diplomatic negotiation, then the result is simply defeat by a different means, and the justice that was desired was perhaps never deserved.

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