Sunday, January 18, 2015

Disney During World War II: How the Walt Disney Studio Contributed to Victory in the War

This gorgeously illustrated and eye-opening book reveals the little-known role that the Disney Studios played in the Allied victory in World War II. Almost every single page in the book contains a fascinating photo illustrating Disney's war effort: from a poster about propaganda featuring Donald Duck, to fascinating storyboards for the controversial film, "The New Spirit", to a film short about Hitler directed by a Goofy specialist, to vivid poster art for anti-Nazi short "Chicken Little 1942". Also included is art from short films made to entertain the soldiers, such as "The Army Mascot of 1942", which featured Pluto (there's a great picture of Pluto feeling the effects of swallowing a wad of army tobacco). With fabulous titles such as "Sky Trooper", "Donald's Tire Trouble", and "Private Pluto", the material about these movies offers a fascinating peek into the psychology of the war effort. Baxter includes an amazing chapter on Disney's collaboration with Roald Dahl (the genius author behind Willy Wonka, and other children's classics). Written with a masterful grasp of his subject, this is a wonderful book for any Disney fan, as well as history and World War II buffs.

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