Winter. Pluto is sniffing around outside when he hears a noise. It's coming from a bag floating on an ice floe in a creek. Pluto rescues it, then loses interest when it turns out to be a ... See full summary »
The story of a little boy who would only talk in sound effects. With story by Dr. Seuss (and Bill Scott of Rocky and Bullwinkle fame) this cartoon won the Oscar for best short subject (animated) for 1950.
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
WWII-era filmmakers used two broad approaches when attempting to discredit Adolf Hitler and Germany in general. The first, and least interesting in my view, was to treat them with the utmost seriousness, painting the Nazis are perverted, sadistic and evil baby-killers, and the like. Secondly, there was the comedic approach, by which Hitler was belittled through having entire audiences laughing in his face. 'The Great Dictator (1940)' and 'To Be or Not to Be (1942)' accomplish this hilariously well, but what about the younger demographics? To help communicate the evils of Nazism to children, the Walt Disney cartoon 'Der Fuhrer's Face (1942)' tosses Donald Duck (voiced by Clarence Nash) amid Hitler's militaristic regime, where he slaves away for "48 hours a day" in a munitions factory, continually bombarded with the swastika symbol and the phrase "heil Hitler!" At the end of the cartoon, after a surreal montage of Nazi (or "Nutzi," as the film says) oppression, Donald wakes up in America, thankfully sighing "am I glad to be a citizen of the United States of America."
Despite winning an Oscar in 1943 for Best Short Subject Cartoon, 'Der Fuehrer's Face' was rarely seen following the end of the war. As the atrocities of Hitler's "Final Solution" came to light, the Nazi badge quickly became something, not to be merely ridiculed, but to be loathed. Nevertheless, the sheer audacity of Jack Kinney's cartoon has to be seen to be believed. There's hardly a frame in which the swastika is not visible in one form or another, and Donald is ludicrously forced to bark "Heil Hitler" whenever he comes across a photograph of the Fuhrer. The cartoon's climax is a dizzyingly-surreal montage in which anthropomorphised Nazi machinery relentlessly beats Donald into submission. It's all a little disconcerting, as was its intention, but it's also a lot of fun. Also featured is Oliver Wallace's song "Der Fuehrer's Face," which was covered by Spike Jones and His City Slickers with great success. Indeed, the name of this cartoon was changed from "Donald Duck in Nutzi Land" to capitalise on the song's popularity.
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