“After the war was over, we were like a bear coming out of hibernation. We were skinny and gaunt and we had no fat on our bones. Those were lost years for us.”Roy Disney
While the second world war was going on the Disney Corporation struggled like many entertainment industries. The managed just enough making shorts and helping out with the war effort by using their animation studios to make films. VICTORY THROUGH AIR POWER (1942) bounces between segments of live action, with professed briefing-style theories on the abstract importance of air supremacy, and segments supporting its theories with animated diagrams and charts. It is a very classic Disney feeling animated film and is actually really interesting all the way through. It starts with a re-telling of the birth of flight with the Wright Brothers and then illustrates how aircraft, with the first patrol planes, the first fighters and the first bombers, were used in World War I. Up to that point, the film goes on to provide a history of World War II, but there are some factual errors about the way Germany invaded Belgium and a few other things really brining the propaganda to the surface.
The film also goes on to discuss America’s role in the war, describing America as the “Arsenal of Democracy.” It claims that because American supply lines are thousands and thousands of miles long and German/Japanese supply lines are very small, Japan and Germany have a distinct advantage over us. It starts as a traditional, light-hearted and amusing Walt Disney cartoon documentary, but it ends up detailing some of contemporary combat’s most shocking techniques, such as blowing up dams to drown the enemy and using explosions to cause earthquakes. It is totally worth your time. Watch it in its entirety below!
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