Total Word Count: 1988
Part A: Plan of Investigation- 123
An important factor of war for many countries is the spirit and support of its people. This investigation will answer the question How did Walt Disney Studios contribute to patriotism and the war effort of World War II in the USA? This investigation will focus only on the methods used and the ideas promoted in the USA. It will exclude political accuracy of the messages spread, success rates, and impact on other Allied forces and the Axis. A variety of online resources and materials published by Disney will be utilized. Two resources that will be critically analyzed for origin, purpose, value, and limitation are The Spirit of ’43, and Der Fuehrer’s Face, cartoons produced by Disney Studios during the time of the war. Part B: Summary of Evidence- 527
1. Walt Disney Studios educated Americans on how to assist the war effort. * Disney supplied art to organizations promoting various home front activities. * In the cartoon The Spirit of '43, Donald showed Americans why it was important to save money. * Some stories were about spies amongst the people, and how important it was to be aware of activity in our surroundings. * Posters convinced employees to stay at the jobs they were trained to do and help ease the critical manpower shortage caused by men being drafted into the military. * Whimsical training booklets were created for the US Army Air Force, Safety Education Division, and Flight Control Command. * Animated shorts were a more effective means of instruction than live-action films or illustrated lectures. 2. Disney propaganda provided motivation to fight the war and boosted American morale. * Morale-boosting Disney-designed insignia appeared on planes, trucks, flight jackets, and other military equipment. * The enemy was always depicted in black; devious and evil at heart, but rather stupid. Good would always eventually triumph over evil. * The movies and comic books made the enemy look ridiculous; they also let audiences laugh at their own daily lives for a few minutes. * A cartoon called Fall Out Fall In shows the hardship the military faced during the war. 3. American values were represented and enforced in cartoons and artwork, promoting patriotism. * In Der Fuehrer’s Face Donald Duck wakes up from a nightmare of being a Nazi and exclaims, “Oh boy am I glad to be a citizen of the United States of America!” * A picture from the Coronet magazine shows Thrifty Pig symbolizes the might of industry, Minnie Mouse is a Red Cross volunteer, Dopey the dwarf purchases war bonds, Flower the skunk is a member of the chemical warfare service, and Thumper the rabbit is in the army signal corps. * Cartoon military patches embodied pop culture, innocence, American values, and everything the troops loved about home. * These were symbols of the American way of life, of freedom and democracy, of everything that was at stake. Part C: Evaluation of sources- 484
The origin of this source is Education for Death: The Making of a Nazi, a cartoon that was produced by Walt Disney Studios in during WWII. The purpose of this video is to show how the conditioning of a Nazi starts at birth and how they were taught that democracy was evil, that the world belongs to the strong, and that the weak deserve to die and to encourage Americans to fight them. The value of this source is that it shows the American view of Nazis as drones who have no thought of their own. They were seen as ruthless people who trampled on the rights of others. Some limitations to this source are that the cartoon only focuses on the corrupt morals taught to the military in the American point of view; some aspects of the film were exaggerated for a comedic effect and so not everything...