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Der Fuehrer's Face
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Reviews & Ratings for
Der Fuehrer's Face More at IMDbPro »

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19 out of 21 people found the following review useful:

What a Nightmare!

Author: travisimo from Pocatello, Idaho, USA
23 January 2004

I once heard that Disney's marketing department was concerned about how Mickey Mouse was depicted in 1995's Runaway Brain, because Mickey's brain was switched with an evil brain, making Mickey a rampaging villain in the cartoon. I wonder what they would think if they had to market Der Fuehrer's Face with Donald Duck wearing a Nazi uniform and, at one point, resembling Hitler. Of course, this isn't the real Donald (as it wasn't the real Mickey in Runaway Brain); it was all a bad dream for Donald. However, the image alone of Donald in `Nutzi Land' is somewhat shocking.

Nevertheless, Der Fuehrer's Face exhibits some of the greatest gags I've seen in any cartoon. In Donald's nightmare, he has to do some odd exercises that contort his body into a swastika-like shape. His cuckoo clock bird looks like Hitler as he comes out of the clock doing a Heil Hitler salute. And poor Donald is forced to work in an ammunition factory where he has to salute Hitler every time he sees his picture, which is about after every other ammunition shell. It's just so surprising to seeing Hitler and the Nazis being made fun of in this way, in a cartoon no less, you can't help but laugh.

Finally Donald wakes up in his red, white, and blue pajamas and is relieved to see his Statue of Liberty souvenir and realizing he's always lived in the `good, old United States of America.' This cartoon is really quite a sight to see. It makes fun of the enemy, gives people a good laugh, and displays some great patriotism. A great cartoon, in my opinion, even if it borders on controversial nowadays. It's a product of its time, and it's just a fine piece of entertainment.

My IMDb Rating: 10/10

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14 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

Fun with Fascism

Author: tony_ginorio from San Juan, Puerto Rico
9 June 2004

In this marvelously surreal and funny short, Donald Duck is a subject of Nazi Germany, forced to make munitions for the Reich. He has to endure abysmal food rations (wooden bread, Aroma of Bacon and Eggs, and coffee brewed from a single bean), superhuman workloads, 30 seconds of forced calisthenics for his "vacation", and an unrelenting barrage of Hitler portraits which he must hail unfailingly - or else! It's all too much for Donald, who has a nervous breakdown, and the film disintegrates into a bizarre phantasmagoria of dancing missiles and stomping boots. Thankfully, it was all just a bad dream, and Donald is relieved to see that the hailing shadow on the wall is cast by his Statue of Liberty on the window sill. As he kisses it he proclaims, wearing his star-spangled jammies, "Am I glad to be a citizen of the United States of America." This cartoon, perhaps the most savagely satirical Disney ever made, was a sensation in its day, winning the Oscar and spawning a hit song. After the war, however, it was shelved and kept out of public circulation - and not without reason. Now it has been released on DVD as part of the excellent Walt Disney Treasures collection, "Walt Disney on the Front Lines", for discerning film buffs to enjoy. Many will find it disquieting to see a beloved American icon wearing a brownshirt uniform with swastika armband, hailing pictures of Hitler, and goose stepping to work; but then, Donald doesn't seem too thrilled about it, either. In no way does this cartoon promote Nazism. Instead, it punctures its pretensions of superiority by reducing its brutality to absurd slapstick, turning its Ubermensch into buffoonish caricatures. (Bear in mind that at the time of this cartoon the true extent of Hitler's inhumanity was unknown to the Allied countries.) As Mel Brooks has noted, the best way to deal with monsters like Hitler is to laugh at them. So go ahead and laugh, laugh, right at Der Fuehrer's Face.

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11 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

An interesting and funny propaganda Disney short.

Author: kayakofan from Orange County, California
2 January 2006

The first time I saw screen caps of this short cartoon, I didn't know what to think. Then I saw it, and realized how clever those guys at Disney are.

I won't really give anything away (it's about Donald Duck working for the Nazis, and in true Disney style, comes to a cute ending), but you should just see it yourself. It's a superb example of how bad the Nazi soldiers were treated and overworked mixed with comedy. About finding it, you can download it off a few internet joke sites (someone of an IMDb thread for this movie posted a link from steak and cheese DOT COM), and it was recently released as part of a Disney box set of War-time shorts commemorating the WWII era. It's also available in a lot of college libraries, in a 16mm print.

My rating: 10/10 (a pretty good cartoon poking fun at the WWII political state).

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10 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

One of the best cartoons I've ever seen

Author: MisterWhiplash from United States
19 February 2000

Der Fueher's Face is a masterpiece of a cartoon and It's my favorite cartoon from Donald Duck. It shows how crazy the Nazi invasion was by showing what happens to a duck in that situation. Not only is it well done, it gives kids a look into the craziness that was World War 2. One of the best cartoon's ever made.

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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

"Heil Hitler!"

Author: ackstasis from Australia
20 February 2009

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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9 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Effective and Caustic Propaganda in Times of War

Author: Claudio Carvalho from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
9 December 2009

In World War II, a marching band playing "Der Fuehrer's Face" passes by Donald Duck's house. He awakes, has a poor breakfast with stale bread. Then he goes to an army factory where he works in the production of ammunition brainwashed by the Nazi propaganda. Donald Duck has a nervous breakdown with the stressed situation but when he awakes, he finds that he had a nightmare and he actually lives in United States of America.

The historical cartoon "Der Fuehrer's Face" is an effective and caustic propaganda in times of war. Despite being dated in 2009, the despair of Donald Duck is still a hilarious fun against the Nazism and tyranny of Hitler. My vote is six.

Title (Brazil): Not Available

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9 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

This is a remarkable piece of work!

Author: Robert Reynolds ( from Tucson AZ
10 October 2001

This short won an Academy Award and should have! An exceptionally tough cartoon to see, as it's most difficult to find. Disney, with some understandable reluctance, has not made this available. While understandable, I don't agree with the choice they've made here. This cartoon should be seen, it should be widely available and is a big part of the Golden Age of Disney. Qute probably the best theatrical short Disney ever made (certainly the best that I've seen) and it's unfortunate that DIsney has clearly consigned it to the vaults. I fervently hope they change their minds. My highest recommendation here. Worth the trouble to locate and should be in print!!!

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Donald Duck in "Nutzi Land"

Author: uk6strings-1 from The Twin Cities, Minnesota
29 July 2008

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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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Funny short, even by today standards

Author: Angel Meiru
20 April 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Before the era of Political Correctness, Disney made some good animation. The World War II shorts were no exception.

I noticed some of the PC crowd mislabeled this short as being pro-Nazi, because it shows Donald Duck working for the Nazi. NOT TRUE! Sure, he does work for them, but against his will. And all is revealed to be a dream and Donald is thankful of living in America.

I also like the very end part were Hitler gets a tomato thrown in his face.

Get Disney's "On the Front Lines" collection for good historical WWII shorts.

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6 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Extremely effective

Author: TheOtherFool from The Netherlands
26 May 2004

This is such a great propaganda piece! Donald Duck is a worker (well, slave really) in Nutzi land, which basically is nazi Germany. There's a fantastic piece when Donald is working in a factory in a way that reminds us of Chaplin in Modern Times. Throughout the film a really catchy song is playing that is making fun of Hitler.

In the end it turns to be all a dream and Donald is waking up in the USA. He turns patriotic while stating he's so glad to be a citizen in the United States. Oh well, it's propaganda, people!

Propaganda so well made, it should be hailed (no pun intended) for it, as the movie makes fun of Hitler and his gang in an effective, but also hilarious way. 8/10!

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