A cold war between two lands over a ridiculous dispute leads to a perilous arms race.

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Cast

Cast overview:
...
Grandfather (voice)
Chris Latta ...
Chief Yookeroo / Various Yooks (voice) (as Christopher Collins)
...
Yookie-Ann Sue / Teacher / Various Yooks (voice)
...
Vanitch (voice)
Joseph Cousins ...
Grandson (voice)
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Storyline

A tale of two hostile neighboring countries, one country is occupied by the Yooks, while the other is occupied by the Zooks. Both countries don't agree with each others ideology. Due to this issue they ended up building a wall in between the border of the two opposing cultures. The main reason they hate each other is because both cultures have a different way of buttering their bread. The Yooks eat their bread butter side up while the Zooks eat their bread butter side down. The story is told by the perspective of a Yook border patrol guard who tries to outwit a Zook name Van Itch with the latest Yooks weapon. However every time the border guard presents his weapon, Van Itch would have a weapon that is able to counter attack the Yook's weapon. This leads to an arms race with results leading to a mutual assured destruction. Written by J LeGault

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Details

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Release Date:

13 November 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dr. Seuss' The Butter Battle Book  »

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Dr. Seuss has credited this 1989 TV special as the most faithful adaptation of his work. See more »

Goofs

When the Yook soldier first starts the walking machine, it has four goop-spraying attachments behind it. While he is en route to the wall, when the band is playing, there are only three attachments. When he confronts Van Itch at the wall, there are four again. See more »

Connections

Edited into The Best of Dr. Seuss (2000) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Simplistic and misguided
7 August 2007 | by See all my reviews

Butter Battle is an entertaining story about two fictional cities and their arms race. It is also as misguided allegory about the Cold-War and arms races in general. Yes, it is a children's book, but like so many of Theodor Seuss Geisel's works it hits people over the head with its moral.

And that moral is what, exactly? Sure it is laudable to encourage us to concentrate more on what unites us than what divides us. It is even a good thing to encourage international cooperation. But to equate the differences between the Warsaw Pact nations and the Nato west to a difference in butter application is just plain wrong. To point out the obvious, many Warsaw Pact nations enjoyed intermittent periods of shortages of butter and bread -- they would have been happy to eat it butter sideways if it were available. On a less literal level, and whatever your political inclination, Soviet socialism versus Western (particularly Anglo-American) democracy is not a mere question of preference and custom.

To make the point even clearer, nuclear weapons were not developed in a Cold War with the Soviets, but in a hot war with the Axis powers. There is no doubt that Germany was developing nuclear capability during the war. Should the US have refrained from nuclear weapons research putting their trust in their (less than inevitable) victory in the conventional war? Once the weapons were developed they were used against the enemy who attacked us at Pearl Harbor. What does a nation do at this point when the genie is out of the bottle? Furthermore, hindsight is 20-20, which is to say that there was no way of assuring another half crazed dictator wouldn't crop up with his eyes on developing nuclear weapons. The second Gulf War has shown the incredible difficulty in ascertaining credible threats and neutralizing them.

In any event, the cartoon is little more than simplistic propaganda which does little to explore the nuances of the ethical questions behind nuclear armament and instead tries to inculcate fear of weapons technology into children.


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