A excerpt from a weird and ugly (but interesting) WWII propaganda cartoon made by inept and humorless nazis featuring Mickey Mouse, Popeye, Donald Duck, Goofy, Felix, and horrible Jewish stereotypes. I’ve seen a lot of WWII propaganda from the Allies, but not much from the Axis… presumably most of it was destroyed. If all their animation was this uninspired, it is no wonder we won the war.
WARNING: This cartoon contains offensive ethnic caricatures. If offensive stereotypes bug you, you may not want to view it.
This cartoon, along with almost all of Ub Iwerks cartoons made for his own studio, are available on the excellent DVDs The Cartoons that time ForgotVolume One and Volume Two. This cartoon is on Volume 2.
Another great Ub Iwerks ComiColor cartoon, featuring the Big Bad Wolf… this comes three years after the immensely popular Disney Silly Symphony version of the Three Little Pigs, which had also spawned a number of sequels, including one also titled The Big Bad Wolf. This Wolf would seem to be pretty influenced by the Disney one. I would guess that is likely to be why the original title of this appears to have been Little Boy Blue, even though Little Boy Blue is a fairly minor character in this cartoon. This cartoon really stars the Big Bad Wolf and the Scarecrow featured in the cartoon Jack Frost which I posted the other day.
What? A rerun won’t cut it for your Saturday morning? You kids today are spoiled! When I was a kid long, long ago in the decade we called the Seventies, we had four channels, and one was PBS, which didn’t even count! We were happy to get reruns! We’d watch the same Woody Woodpecker cartoon 100 times, because that was the Woody Woodpecker cartoon the local station had a copy of! Hell, forget Woody Woodpecker, we even watched Fred and Barney meet The Thing and The Shmoo! And we liked it! Loved it, even! And it was terrible! You… you’ve got the low-res version of the history of animation at your fingertips whenever you want it! What the hell is wrong with you?!? Be grateful!
Oh, fine, have another, you lucky little bastards… here’s the Fleischers’ An Elephant Never Forgets from 1934.
This appears to be Komatsuzawa Hajime’s “Toybox Series #3: Picture Book 1936″ (a.k.a. Momotaro vs Mickey Mouse). I found this description at http://www.kinema.uwaterloo.ca/white962.htm: “One very popular cartoon character was Momotaro, the “Peach boy,” who appeared in a number of cartoons designed not just for domestic consumption within Japan, but for propaganda use in occupied countries as well. For example, Picture Book 1936 (Momotaro vs. Mickey Mouse) presented fanged Mickey Mouse look-alikes riding giant bats, attacking peaceful Pacific islanders (represented by cats and dolls, for some reason); the hero Momotaro jumps out of a picture book, repels the American mice, and cherry trees blossom throughout the island as the grateful natives sing “Tokyo Chorus.”
Here’s a fun Fleischer Studios cartoon that makes great use of the Max Fleischer invention, the Rotograph… it is an early example of the technique, as the cartoon is from 1935 and the patent wasn’t filed until 1936. The Rotograph was a technique of building a miniature set on a turntable that could be rotated while shooting cels in front of it to make it appear that the 2d drawings were in a 3d space.