7 Racist World War II Cartoons (Produced By Major Studios) You Won't Believe

7. Der Fuehrer€™s Face €“ Disney, 1943

This cartoon is actually probably one of the most subtly racist of the €˜Jap€™ propaganda pieces produced during World War Two. Disney himself wasn€™t actually interested in going to war at all, and certainly wasn€™t interested in producing propaganda voluntarily. His studio was sequestered by the US government because of its closeness to the Lockheed Airplane factory, and he was forced into making propaganda so that he could actually make a profit. Because of this, the quality of his propaganda was actually much greater and more focused on entertainment and/or education, than Disney's fellow studio heads, and there is less of the hysterical anti-Japanese product produced by others. The main focus in this short is obviously the Nazis and how horrendous living in €˜Nutzi land€™ is. But early on there is a scene where the other Axis leaders are shown and the €˜Jap€™ characterisation is stark as Hirohito stands out considerably as a subhuman character, when compared to the bulbous Mussolini and maniacal Hitler. But even though it€™s fleeting, the larger point is that it€™s there at all. Even in a film about the Nazis from an isolationist studio head not really interested in propaganda, there is still a deliberate punch against Japanese that is particularly stark because it stands out as the only racially defined depiction of enemies throughout the film.
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