2008 | 7(14) | 176-190
Article title

Miki i Donald na froncie (wewnętrznym). Disney Studios podczas II wojny światowej

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The main goal of the article is to describe Walt Disney Studios’ propaganda activity during World War II. The author puts Disney’s production in a wider context of “home front” activity and functioning of the film industry under the coordination of the Office of War Information and within it, the Bureau of Motion Pictures Affairs. He also outlines the usage of propaganda (and film itself for propaganda purposes) both in the USA and Germany before WW II. The main part of the article concentrates on Disney Studios. It analyzes the impact of the war outbreak (as well as of other factors) on financial condition of the company and Disney’s cooperation with Canadian Government and political involvement in South American affairs. A detailed overview and description of several subgenres of cartoons that were produced for the needs of the government and US Army are also given. These were, for example, training films (popularly called “nuts ‘n’ bolt” films”), pure entertainment films as well as “motivation” films which were intended to encourage citizens to buy war bonds, pay taxes or save wastes. Apart from films itself the Burbank studio produced a whole range of other propaganda materials: from war insignia to Mickey Mouse gas masks. The article also contains some reflections on Walt Disney’s political attitude and preferences. Taking into consideration some of his pre-war films and their political meaning as well as producer’s contacts with Nazi Germany the author suggests that in the late 30’s and early 40’s Disney manifested a kind of a fascist inclination.
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