Thursday, December 12, 2013

Der Fuehrer's Face (1942)

1 Nomination, 1 Win

Win: Best Short Subject, Cartoons - Walt Disney

There is something surreal and very disturbing about watching Donald Duck, a classic piece of Americana, dressed in a Nazi uniform and shouting (or quacking) "Heil Hitler!"  But "Der Fuehrer's Face" isn't pro-Nazi propaganda.  Instead, it is pro-America propaganda: funny and effective pro-America propaganda.  

Donald dreams himself to be a Nazi factory worker, blindly and only partly-unhappily going through the mindless routine of building Nazi munitions before the mindlessness of it causes him to fall into a daze.  This sequence is wonderfully weird and surreal and shows why Walt Disney cartoons, though lacking the madcap humor of the Warner Bros. efforts of the time, were far ahead in their artistic ambitions.  

"Der Fuehrer's Face" isn't the best of the Disney shorts, and the story doesn't go in enough directions to really develop.  The initial humor of Donald trying to keep up with the conveyor belt of munitions is funny, but it goes on too long and fails to go in any unexpected directions.  Still, this is one of the better pieces of American anti-Naza propaganda, and by far one of the least treacly.  It is definitely worth a view, if for nothing else than for its weirdness.

After noticing some discrepancies in my spreadsheet that tracks the project, I am double checking every entry.  I will have an updated count of Films, Oscars, and Nominations remaining once this process is completed.

No comments:

Post a Comment