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A marching band of Germans, Italians, and Japanese march through the streets of swastika-motif Nutziland, serenading "Der Fuehrer's Face." Donald Duck, not living in the region by choice, struggles to make do with disgusting Nazi food rations and then with his day of toil at a Nazi artillery factory. After a nervous breakdown, Donald awakens to find that his experience was in fact a nightmare. Written by
David Gerstein <email@example.com>
The phrase "Heil Hitler" was spoken 33 and a half times, the half being interrupted by Donald realizing he was staring at the shadow of the miniature Statue of Liberty. See more »
Ven Der Fuehrer says "ve is der master race," ve heil! Heil! Right in Der Fuehrer's Face! Not to love Der Fuehrer is a great disgrace, so ve heil! Heil! Right in Der Fuehrer's Face!
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A caricature of Hitler is hit by a tomato, which then runs into the words THE END. See more »
Der Fuehrer's Face is both interesting in its historical context and hilarious in its imaginative content. Winning the Academy Award for "Best Short Subject (Cartoons)," this little animated gem is arguably one of the most entertaining piece of propaganda ever produced. Released on January 1, 1943, the United States was only in its first year of World War II and needed all the morale it could get - and Walt Disney Pictures delivered that with this short film. With the Spike Jones and His City Slickers version of Oliver Wallace's song "Der Fuehrer's Face" playing over the film, the audience is introduced to "Nutzi Land" via a marching band made up of Hitler's stooges: Goebbels, Hirohito, Goering, Mussolini, etc. The picture slowly pans to this little shack of a house where Donald Duck is sleeping soundly until he's woken by a loud alarm clock, Aryan cuckoo clock, and a rude poke of a bayonet. From there we see him suffering the poor living conditions of Nazi Germany as portrayed by the film (eating poorly, getting Mein Kampf shoved in his face, and having to yell out a "Heil Hitler!" at the sight of a picture of der Fuehrer) and over-working himself in an ammunition factory.
Oh man, is this little film ever funny. The lyrics to the song "Der Fuehrer's Face" and the presentation of this "Nutzi Land" are funny enough, but Donald Duck is also up to his usual antics here in Der Fuehrer's Face: speaking in his hilarious way, having some of his unforgettably funny Donald Duck freak-outs, being sarcastic as all get out, and going on the worst head trip he'd see until The Three Caballeros.
The propaganda side to this film is obvious and very interesting considering the times and the film's purpose. As the German propaganda displayed the Nazi Aryan race as a mighty and envious people living in a powerful nation, Der Fuehrer's Face shows Hitler's Germany as a desolate and thoroughly unlikable place and displays der Fuehrer and his cronies as parodies of themselves (Emperor Hirohito in a particularly racist way as he cheerfully yells "Aryan-pure supermen!"). Being American made for propaganda reasons, this film has very obvious anti-Axis and pro-US themes clearly seen through the way Donald is living in the film's bleak but over-the-top version of Nazi Germany.
Der Fuehrer's Face remains a fantastic and hilarious short film long after 1943, interesting as a piece of history and entertaining as a humorous Donald Duck animated short.
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