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Spies (1943)

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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 380 users  
Reviews: 10 user | 1 critic

Private Snafu has a secret: his ship leaves for Africa at 4:30. He's determined to keep it, but bit by bit it slips out, and eventually, the details end up right on Hitler's desk and the ship is attacked.


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Uncredited cast:
Private Snafu / Adolf Hitler / Pigeon / Spies (voice) (uncredited)


The doltish but self-confident and self-congratulatory Private Snafu is in possession of a military secret during World War II. Over the course of the day, spouting rhymed couplets, he divulges the secret a little at a time to listening Axis spies. He tells his mom some of the secret when he calls her from a phone booth; the rest he spills to a dolly dolly spy who plies him with liquor. Snafu's loose lips put himself at risk. Written by <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Animation | Short | Comedy | War



Parents Guide:





Release Date:

August 1943 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Private Snafu: Spies  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This film was included in the World War II exhibit of the International Spy Museum. See more »


Snafu: I just learned a secret, it's a honey, it's a pip. But the enemy is listening, so I'll never let it slip. 'Cause when I learn a secret, boy, I zipper up my lip!
See more »


Followed by The Infantry Blues (1943) See more »


A Life on the Ocean Wave
Music by Henry Russell
See more »

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User Reviews

One of the best Private Snafu cartoons if not for the easily offended
20 August 2014 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

The Private Snafu cartoons generally are a lot of fun, and Spies is no exception. In fact, I do consider Spies one of the best Snafu cartoons despite that it does feel a little too short, being only about 3 minutes long, and there will be people who'll take offence at the caricatures of the Germans and Japanese(considering though that Spies was made during the war where the Germans and the Japanese were the enemy it was somewhat inevitable that they would be targeted). The animation is very beautifully done, with the drawing far from scrappy, the backgrounds show lots of detail and for black and white the colours are fluid and have atmosphere and warmth. The music is characterful and dynamically orchestrated in a way that is unmistakable of Carl Stalling, it accompanies the action brilliantly, matches the expressions and gestures equally as well and the use of pre-existing tunes are fun to spot. As well as one of the best of the Private Snafu cartoons Spies is also one of the funniest and cleverest. The horse's ass joke and the wonderfully devilish ending fare the best of the gags(which like all the cartoons revolves around how not to do things and their consequences but never does it feel predictable) but the joy is the cracking script that style and structure-wise has Dr.Seuss' style written all over it. A lot of the Private Snafu cartoons are risqué and quite ahead of their time and Spies is among the most daring. Snafu is an endearing and hilarious character, and the rest of the characters are just as colourful, yes including in a way the caricatures. Mel Blanc's- as usual in multiple roles- voice work typically is faultless. Overall, while it is easy for people to be offended by it Spies is a clever and extremely cartoon that is among the best of the series. 9/10 Bethany Cox

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