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Director: Bill Justice & Bill Roberts
Release Date: November 5, 1943
Stars: The Seven Dwarfs
Rating: ★★★½
Review:

The Winged Scourge © Walt DisneyThis war time educational short tells us about public enemy no. 1. This turns out not to be Nazi Germany or Japan, but the Anopheles mosquito, which spreads malaria. The film is quite insightful in how malaria is spread and how one can prepare oneself against it.

The film features the seven dwarfs from ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’ (1937) as volunteers to give an example. Their precautionary actions are staged to an instrumental version of the song ‘Whistle While You Work’, which was originally associated with Snow White and some forest animals doing the household in ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’ (1937).

It’s a bit surreal to watch these happy-go-lucky fairy tale characters fighting a serious disease in a modern (South) American environment. Especially because some of the precautionary methods against malaria are quite disturbing. They include spraying oil on ponds and the use of the poisonous gas Paris Green, methods with devastating results for the environment. Clearly, environmentalism was not yet on the agenda in the 1940s (in fact, it only hit the political agenda after the publishing of Rachel Carson’s book ‘Silent Spring’ in 1962).

The seven dwarfs were used earlier in the war propaganda short ‘7 Wise Dwarfs‘ (1941), but that consisted mainly of reused material. ‘The Winged Scourge’ has entirely new animation on the seven dwarfs. It was the last film to feature these happy little men.

‘The Winged Scourge’ was made for the Office of the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs. It’s the first of a few educational health shorts made especially for the Latin American countries, other examples being ‘Defense Against Invasion‘ (1943), ‘Cleanliness Brings Health’ (1945), ‘What Is Disease’ (1945), and ‘Planning for Good Eating’ (1946).

Watch ‘The Winged Scourge’ yourself and tell me what you think:

Director: Fred Beebe
Release Date: January 13, 1942
Stars: Clarabella Cow, Donald Duck, Figaro, Geppetto, Goofy, Horace Horsecollar, Huey, Dewey and Louie, Mickey Mouse, Pinocchio, Pluto, The Seven Dwarfs
Rating: ★★★½
Review:

All Together © Walt Disney‘All Together’ is the last and the shortest of the four propaganda films Disney made for the Canadian government.

In the first half we only see some Disney stars parading on patriotic march music in front of the Canadian parliament building in Ottawa. This short scene reuses animation from ‘Pinocchio‘ (Pinocchio, Geppetto and Figaro), ‘Good Scouts‘ (Donald and his nephews), ‘Bone Trouble‘ (Pluto), ‘The Band Concert‘ (Mickey and the gang), ‘Mickey’s Amateurs‘ (Goofy) and ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’ (the seven dwarfs, who are clearly singing and whistling, although their voices are not heard). ‘All Together’ is the only propaganda short to feature Pinocchio stars.

The second half uses powerful imaginary to persuade the public to buy war certificates. Of the new images, the most striking is the one of coins marching with bayonets.

‘All Together’ is image only. It doesn’t feature any kind of story, making it the least interesting of the four Canadian propaganda films.

Watch ‘All Together’ yourself and tell me what you think:

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:

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