Under the name Attaboy Clarence/The Secret History Of Hollywood, Adam Roche creates very long, very in-depth podcasts about classic Hollywood how it relates to broader sociopolitical trends. Clocking in at 171 minutes, Hunting Witches With Walt Disney goes into the background, motivations, and effects of the Red Scare in Hollywood and the House Of Un-American Activities. The nearly 3 hour long podcast spans a cast of characters including Budd Schulberg, Elia Kazan, John Garfield, Dorothy Comingore, Edward Dymytryk, Dalton Trumbo, Walt Disney, Humphrey Bogart, and of course, Howard Hughes
Kat Chow, with NPR's Code Switch, put together a short piece on the history and the prevalence of the well-known nine note "stereotypical Asian theme." As described in a 2005 Straight Dope forum question: You know, the one that goes dee dee dee dee duh duh dee dee duh. Featured heavily in braindead Hollywood flicks made by clueless directors who want to give a scene an "oriental" feel. Also a variation of it can be heard in David Bowie's "China Girl." [more inside]
Donald Duck wants you to pay your taxes to fight Nazism, when he's not dreaming he's a Nazi. Of course, Disney didn't need Donald Duck in every propaganda film.
If you've ever heard the song Aquarela do Brasil (often called simply "Brazil" -- here's my favourite cover), then you'll probably enjoy this classic 1942 animation which first made it famous. The clip is the finale from the feature Saludos Amigos (hello friends), created during a US government-funded goodwill tour of South America aimed at strengthening Pan-American relations, which some argue may have helped bring South America onto the side of the Allies in World War II. [more inside]
Education for Death. (YouTubefilter.) Disney-produced anti-Nazi cartoon short from 1943. Look for Hitler's Satanic horns. More weirdness from WWII: Warner Bros Snafuperman, starring Pvt. Snafu (originally created by Dr. Seuss!), who also deals with spies, all while jabbering away in a voice that sounds disconcertingly like that of a certain cwazy wabbit. From Archive. org -- Pvt. Snafu learns about booby traps, in one case literally. Bugs himself joined the Air Force, and was faced with gremlins for his trouble. Superman himself got in on the act, battling Japoteurs. After all, during the War we were plenty worried about those canny Japanese.
Disney WWII-era propaganda An interview with Dave Bossert, the producer of a limited-edition two-DVD set of propaganda films produced by the Disney animation studio between 1941 and 1946--many of these shorts, including Donald Duck's Der Fuehrer's Face, were previously available only as nth-generation bootlegs because of their stereotypes and politically sensitive subject matter. (Also included in the collection is the previously extremely rare feature-length 1943 animated film Victory Through Air Power, designed to convince the American public that the only way to win the war was investment in long-range bombers.) [more inside]
Many know about the WWII propaganda films made by Warner Bros & Disney. But few know of the CIAs efforts to produce Cold War propaganda films. Like this take on George Orwells, Animal Farm.