6 user 2 critic

The New Spirit (1942)

Animated documentary promoting timely filing and payment of Federal income taxes, demonstrated by Donald Duck's difficulties with his tax return.


Wilfred Jackson (uncredited), Ben Sharpsteen (uncredited)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »


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Uncredited cast:
Cliff Edwards ... (singing voice) (uncredited)
Clarence Nash Clarence Nash ... Donald Duck (voice) (uncredited)
Fred Shields ... Radio Announcer (voice) (uncredited)
The Sportsmen Quartet The Sportsmen Quartet ... Singing Group (uncredited)


This short was made expressly for and under the auspices of War Activities Committee of the U. S. Treasury Department, and was distributed to theatres at no charge by only National Screen Services, since the War Activities Committee nor the U. S. Treasury Department had no film-exchange offices nor a theatre-distribution set-up. The premise is that it would take 'taxes to beat the axis', and Donald Duck is a reluctant tax-payer until he listens to a radio broadcast concerning the importance of all U.S. citizens to pay their share of taxes, and Donald gets into a conversation with the radio commentator, and learns why it is important to pay taxes to beat the axis. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

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Release Date:

23 January 1942 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


When the commissioner, The US Secretary of the Treasury, learned of the proposal of using Donald Duck as the feature character of the film, he insisted on a generic "Mr. Taxpayer" character instead. Walt Disney managed to convince him that using one of the studio's most popular characters would make for a more entertaining film and therefore, give a more effective message to the audience. See more »

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User Reviews

Pay your taxes!
9 August 2004 | by CuriosityKilledShawnSee all my reviews

I didn't quite get this cartoon as the tax system in this country is very, very different from that in America. It appears that if Donald Duck pays his taxes early then somehow it will give the American government a better chance at winning WWII.

This Donald does with worrying eagerness. So much so he races across the country with the envelope in his hand instead of relying on the postal system (do you blame him?).

Nothing much else of interest. It does say on a tax form though, that Donald has adopted his nephews Huey, Duey and Luey. This I never knew. It was also up from an Academy Award for Documentary Short Subject.

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