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Director: Ford Beebe
Release Date: January 11, 1942
Stars: Donald Duck
Rating: ★★★
Review:

Donald's Decision © Walt Disney‘Donald’s Decision is Walt Disney’s third short to persuade the Canadian public to buy war certificates.

This film has the same two-part formula as ‘The Thrifty Pig‘ and ‘7 Wise Dwarfs‘ from 1941. The first half combines reused footage from two Donald Duck shorts from 1938: ‘Self Control‘ and ‘Donald’s Better Self‘, but with altered voices. The second half resembles that of ‘The Thrifty Pig‘ and ‘7 Wise Dwarfs‘.

The result is less convincing than in the earlier two cartoons, probably because the source material is weaker. Neither ‘Self Control’ nor ‘Donald’s Better Self’ belong to Donald Duck’s best. Besides, Donald only reluctantly does his part, in great contrast to the optimistic pigs and dwarfs from the earlier shorts. Indeed, when Disney had to convince the American public for government purposes, the studio came up with completely new animation for its biggest star (in ‘The New Spirit‘ and ‘The Spirit of ’43‘).

Watch ‘Donald’s Decision’ yourself and tell me what you think:

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Directors: Dick Lyford & Ford Beebe
Release Date: December 12, 1941
Stars: The Seven Dwarfs
Rating: ★★★½
Review:

7 Wise Dwarfs © Walt Disney‘7 Wise Dwarfs’ is Walt Disney’s second propaganda film for the Canadian government, and it uses the same two-part formula as the first (‘The Thrifty Pig‘), this time reusing animation from Walt Disney’s most famous film of all: ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’ (1937).

The first part of ‘7 Wise Dwarfs’ reuses animation of the seven dwarfs singing the mining song and ‘Hi-ho’, but with altered lyrics and backgrounds. There is some new animation of the Dwarfs entering and leaving the bank to buy war bonds. The second part is almost the same as that of ‘The Thrifty Pig’, ending with the same powerful image of planes gunning the words ‘Invest in Victory’. The Seven Dwarfs would return in ‘The Winged Scourge‘ (1943), which features a lot of new animation on them.

Watch ‘7 Wise Dwarfs’ yourself and tell me what you think:

Director: Ford Beebe
Release Date: 1941
Stars: The Three Little Pigs
Rating: ★★★★½
Review:

The Thrifty Pig © Walt DisneyBefore The United States were dragged into the war by Japan’s attack on Pearl harbor, December 7, 1941, Walt Disney Studio already had made four propaganda shorts for the Canadian government.

Canada, had declared war on Nazi Germany on September 10, 1939, a week after the United Kingdom, following Germany’s invasion of Poland, September 1.

‘The Thrifty Pig’ is the first of Disney’s four propaganda films commissioned by the Canadian government to persuade their citizens to buy war bonds to invest in the war effort. The other three being ‘7 Wise Dwarfs‘ (1941), ‘Donald’s Decision‘ (1942) and ‘All Together‘ (1942). It’s also Disney’s first propaganda cartoon.

‘The Thrifty pig’ consists of two parts, The first part cleverly reuses animation from Walt Disney’s most famous short, ‘Three Little Pigs‘ (1933), but in this shortened version the wolf wears a Nazi costume, the bricks are made of war bonds and the union jack is waving at the wise pig’s house. The only new animation is when the wolf’s blows reveal war bonds beneath the plaster and when the wise pig says “these bricks not only stop his blowing, they will also get him going”.

The second part is more overtly propagandistic and uses limited animation of war machines and slogans to persuade the public to buy “more and more war certificates”. The end shot, where a plane shoots the words ‘Invest in Victory’ on the screen’ is the most powerful image of the complete film.

This two part formula would be reused in all succeeding propaganda films that had to persuade the public to invest in the governmental war industry. Apart from the Canadian commissions, we see this structure in ‘The New Spirit‘ (1942) and ‘The Spirit of ’43‘ (1943), which had to persuade American citizens to pay their income taxes in time.

Watch ‘The Thrifty Pig’ yourself and tell me what you think:

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