This is a unique film in Disney Production's history. This film is essentially a propaganda film selling Major Alexander de Seversky's theories about the practical uses of long range strategic bombing. Using a combination of animation humorously telling about the development of air warfare, the film switches to the Major illustrating his ideas could win the war for the allies. Written by
Kenneth Chisholm <email@example.com>
When Alexander de Seversky worried that he was unable to both speak and hit his marks simultaneously, director H.C. Potter reminded him of all that he had had to do from his flying days and told him, in a mock Russian accent, to "diwide the attention." Seversky loved that so much that it became a signal word when filming began; whenever shooting was about to begin, the crew would shout, "Diwide the attention!" See more »
The film claims the German's used air power to break through the Maginot line to conquer France. In reality, the German forces avoided directly engaging the Line and instead completely circumvented it. See more »
Today, a war is very different than the last European war was. Now air power is the dominant feature of military operations. Air power can fly directly to the vital centers of an opposing state and neutralize them. It can destroy the cities, it can wreck the aqueducts, it can knock out the lines of communication, it can destroy the food supplies, and make the people helpless to resist.
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I just watched this feature last night from my copy of "Disney Treasures: On the Front Lines," which is an excellent set with many cartoon shorts, educational films, and propaganda films that are unusual of Disney, but nonetheless retain the same feel as the ordinary Disney short.
Being a pacifist, I think that all people should try to understand warfare for what it is, but try to avoid jumping into war until it is absolutely necessary. WWII was indeed a necessary war to fight, and the film, though not specifically aimed to do so, makes this point very clear.
First, before getting directly into the battles, the film educates us on the history of flight. With cartoon humour and sight gags it comes off very entertaining.
Then, the film is turned over to Alexander de Seversky, author of the book on which the film is based. De Seversky makes a valid point that the war should be fought with an enlarged military air force as opposed to naval and land based tactics. He is made to be very informative and enjoyable to watch against the animated maps and diagrams created by Disney's finest animators.
Eerily, there is a link to the 9/11 happening in the idea de Seversky expresses that air power removes the lines between civilians and soldiers and puts the lives of any of us at risk. It is fortunate that he had not lived to see this sad day.
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