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How War Came (1941)

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Title: How War Came (1941)

How War Came (1941) on IMDb 6.2/10

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »


Cast overview:
Raymond Gram Swing ...


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Animation | Short





Release Date:

7 November 1941 (USA)  »

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Historical Reel: How War Came  »

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The Cartoon History of the World
7 April 2014 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

This is a weird one: in 1940 Columbia Pictures commissioned a series of cartoon current events shorts. Only two were produced; this is the first one released.

Radio news commentator Raymond Swing Gram gives a brief overview of how World War II started that is reasonably correct although overly brief. Mel Blanc can be heard doing the voice of Hitler, even though he sounds more like Eddie "Rochester" Anderson.

On the strong side, this one starts out looking like the sort of art that the Fleischers used in the Superman series: dark, dramatic Art Moderne work, and then we get a lot of techniques that make it clear that Disney's animators saw this before they started working on VICTORY THROUGH AIR POWER.

Although you may be put off a bit by Mr. Gram's voice, this Oscar-nominated short is an important stage in the evolution of propaganda films -- even if it's not as much fun as Private Snafu.

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