Squirrel and Hedgehog - Yes folks, this is a North Korean cartoon produced in house ... The animation is really good, (episode 24 and on is animated in Flash, while before it was all hand drawn) the story is pretty complicated sometimes, and the characters are cool. The only thing actually wrong with this show, other than it being blatant propaganda, is that the lipsync is awful. [more inside]
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]
Animatsiya in English is weblog (warning: livejournal) with a narrow focus: tracking the production of Russian animated feature films. Russian animation has a long history with output both abstract and obstructed; from the early influence of the Russian avant-garde and the work of small groups of enthusiasts, through Stalin-era Socialist realism and a style known as Éclair that was marked by the use of extensive rotoscoping, to the 1960's and beyond when surreal and politically charged (and unfortunately, in this case, anti-Semitic) as well as unconventionally structured, emotionally fueled films found release. Fortunately, when Pilot Studio—the Soviet Union's first private animation studio—decided to relegate parts of that history to the dumpsters out back, the people were ready to sift through the mess. [more inside]
Recently deceased Leona Helmsley left $12 Million to her dog, as predicted by Soviet propagandists in 1963. Other predictions have been less than accurate.
Back in the dark days of World War II, the man who would become Dr. Seuss was in the business of military propaganda . One of the characters he created was Private Snafu. Private Snafu was an animated depiction of a bumbling soldier in military training films, whose voice sounded suspiciously close to Bugs Bunny's. Warner Bros. animation studios produced the cartoons with the talents of Mel Blanc, Chuck Jones, and Bob Clampett. Private Snafu has been discussed here previously but now you can watch some of the original cartoons on youtube and download them here! (unfortunately, I am still unable to locate the awesomely-titled "Private Snafu vs. Malaria Mike")
These educational cartoons about the upcoming G8 conference are easily some of the worst pieces of animation ever to be considered "educational." Could they be an attempt to create animated subversion from within? Or is it just par for the course when the government tries to sell the G8 to the youth of America? Oh, and if you like the cartoon, try testing your G8 IQ.
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]