Doing Their Bit
Wartime American Animated Short Films, 1939–1945, 2d ed.
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About the Book
The golden age of animation stretched from the early 1930s to the mid–1950s, with movie cartoons reaching an extraordinarily high level of artistry and technique—far higher than today’s TV cartoons, for instance.
Nearly 1000 cartoons were produced by the seven major animation studios in the U.S. between January 1, 1939, and September 30, 1945—the immediate pre–World War II period up to the cessation of hostilities. More than a quarter of the cartoons substantially refer to the war, and thereby are invaluable in helping to understand American attitudes and Hollywood’s reflection of them.
The meat of Doing Their Bit is a filmography with extremely detailed summaries of the 260 or so commercially produced, animated, war-related shorts, 1939–1945. There is also a good bit of overall commentary on these films as a group. Two chapters wrap up animated cartoons of World War I and the general political tenor of animated talkies of the 1930s. This edition also includes a new chapter on the outrageous government-sponsored Pvt Snafus.
About the Author(s)
Michael S. Shull and David E. Wilt
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Bibliographic Info: photos, appendices, notes, bibliography, indexes
Copyright Date: 2004
Table of Contents
Preface to the Second Edition 1
1. Not for Kids Only 3
2. Moving Lines Behind the Lines: Cartoons of World War I 17
3. Animated Talkies During the 1930s: A Political Overview 28
4. Meet John Doughboy: 1939–1941 36
5. All Out for V: 1942 40
6. Seein’ Red, White ’n’ Blue: 1943 55
7. Slow Fade on the Home Front: 1944–1945 68
8. The Adventures of Private Snafu, or, How to Laugh at the Military While Learning What Not to Do 80
9. That’s All, Folks! 90
Private Snafu Cartoons 187
Mr. Hook Cartoons 203
Appendix A. War-Related American Cartoons 207
Appendix B. Frequency of Selected Topical References (All Cartoons) 208
Appendix C. War Relevancy 210
Appendix D. Featured Characters 211
Appendix E. “Ambiguous” List 214
Appendix F. Selected War-Related Commercial Animated Shorts: 1915–1918 217
Text Index (to page numbers) 231
Filmography Index (to entry numbers) 236
Book Reviews & Awards
“invaluable”—Classic Images; “entertaining…a welcome addition”—ARBA; “provides a content analysis of wartime cartoons…reflecting the way in which war themes were handled”—Animation Journal; “this volume demonstrates the value of the [animation] art form to the study of 20th century American history”—Choice; “a serious study”—Communication Booknotes Quarterly; “carefully researched…useful facts…informative…the authors make the films come alive. They make reading about these historic works exciting”—ASIFA; “a fine tribute to the animated film and its unique contribution”—Movie Collector’s World; “useful…notable”—ANQ; “extremely detailed”—Reference and Research Book News; “Important addition to the field of animation scholarship.”—Richard Shale, author of Donald Duck Joins Up.