5.9/10
359
11 user 3 critic

The Story of Menstruation (1946)

A basic explanation of the purpose and process of menstruation, told largely with diagrams (and completely avoiding the subject of sex).

Director:

Jack Kinney (uncredited)
Reviews
1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Uncredited cast:
Gloria Blondell ... Narrator (uncredited)
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Storyline

The story of menstruation begins, as the motherly narrator informs us, with the pituitary gland - a gland at the base of the brain that sends hormones throughout the bloodstream that order growth. When a girl reaches an age somewhere between 11 and 17 - the average is 13 - the pituitary gland sends maturing orders to the ovaries, which in turn order the uterus to create a thickened lining, filled with watery fluids and blood. If an egg is fertilized it will remain within that thickened lining for nourishment. But if the egg is not fertilized, the body has no use for the extra nourishment, and it passes out of the body - which is the process called menstruation. The narrator proceeds to disprove taboos against bathing or exercise during menstruation. She advises that girls should keep a calendar that keeps track of the number days between periods. And she notes how good posture, healthy foods and positive attitudes can affect the menstruation cycle. Written by J. Spurlin

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Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 October 1946 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

История менструации See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Story of Menstruation is believed to be the first film to use the word "vagina" in its screenplay. See more »

Connections

Featured in Honest Trailers: Cinderella (1950) (2015) See more »

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User Reviews

Tasteful and interesting, if incomplete, educational film from Walt Disney
12 September 2009 | by J. SpurlinSee all my reviews

The story of menstruation begins, as the motherly narrator informs us, with the pituitary gland - a gland at the base of the brain that sends hormones throughout the bloodstream that order growth. When a girl reaches an age somewhere between 11 and 17 - the average is 13 (in 1946, at least) - the pituitary gland sends maturing orders to the ovaries, which in turn order the uterus to create a thickened lining, filled with watery fluids and blood. If an egg is fertilized it will remain within that thickened lining for nourishment. But if the egg is not fertilized, the body has no use for the extra nourishment, and it passes out of the body - which is the process called menstruation. The narrator proceeds to disprove taboos against bathing or exercise during menstruation. She advises that girls should keep a calendar that keeps track of the number days between periods. And she notes how good posture, healthy foods and positive attitudes can affect the menstruation cycle.

Walt Disney Productions always made educational films that far outclassed the dull and laughable product of its rivals, and so it's no surprise that "The Story of Menstruation," sponsored by Kotex, is a tasteful and interesting animated short film - though it is surprising to see Walt Disney's name on a 1940s film that comes perilously close to providing sex education.

Today's reviewers (in blogs and on this user comments page) criticize the film for not dealing directly with the issue of sex, which probably would have been impossible in 1946 - certainly for Walt Disney. The film was progressive as it was: according to IMDb's trivia page, this was probably the first Hollywood production in which we hear the word "vagina." They also criticize the film for advising girls not to feel sorry for themselves when their emotions become strained during a period. Supposedly the advice is condescending, but "Don't feel sorry for yourself" sounds to me like good advice for anyone on any occasion.

Some reviewers even ridicule the film's refutation of the taboo against bathing, which is supposedly too patently obvious to mention. It couldn't have been patently obvious at the time, or the movie would not have mentioned it. If the taboo has completely died out, it's thanks to those who took the trouble to expose it for the nonsense it is.

As far as I can tell, little if any of the information in this film has become outdated. The worst you can say about it, now that the taboo against sex education has been damaged (if not destroyed), is that it's incomplete.


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