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>
After its initial release and re-release in 1943-44, the film was never publicly released or screened in the United States again for 60 years. Only the opening fragment of the "History of Flight" was shown on Disney specials. This changed in May 2004, when Disney released a fully re-mastered and uncut version of "Victory Through Air Power" on the Disney Masterpieces "On the Front Lines" DVD set. 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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"Victory Through Air Power": Disney's Propaganda of the 1940s
"Victory Through Air Power" (1943) is one of Disney's direct propaganda films for the U.S. State Department reiterating the 1942 book of the same name. It bounces between live-action segments, with briefing-style professed theories on the abstract value of air superiority, and segments with animated diagrams and maps supporting its theories. In combination with the Disney movie, the book's author presented the idea of separating air units away from the U.S. Army and into their own department. Soonafter, the U.S. Government formed the Air Force.
This film is just one of the reminders that Walt Disney exists elsewhere from his current stature as a "children's movie producer." He was also a McCarthyist in favor of the blacklist during the Congressional witch hunts from the House UnAmerican Activities Committee (HUAC). To the day I write this, his company still censors Disney's Beethoven segment of "Fantasia" (1940) in VHS and DVD video releases due to a racial comment. Also, the only movie the company has not released of his original classics is "Song of the South," a movie about a little white boy who encounters a group of black storytellers. This writer is curious how, in the time of "Amos and Andy," Disney came up with an idea for a little black mouse in work overalls named "Mickey" which he voiced. These are interesting traits of Walt, none of which revolved around a lack of maturity.
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