09 August 2007

Propaganda In Action 2

From the Boys and Girls at Termite Terrace, aka the Warner Bros. Animation Studio, comes this 1942 effort, "The Ducktators", which depict Hitler as a sociopathic duck, Mussolini(in full Eye-Talian stereotype mode)as a dumb goose, and Hirohito(also in full Nip-Jap stereotype mode)as some sort of likewise demented bird, all bent on taking over a farmyard.

The argument used here, and in "Blitz Wolf", is that the efforts at appeasement made by the international community during the 1930's were dismal failures at best, and that force was the only way with which to deal with the Axis powers.

The use of racial and ethnic stereotypes in "The Ducktators"(one Nazified black duck uses full-on stereotypical African-American dialect, and hails from South Germany) is extremely apparent, unlike in "Blitz Wolf", where only Hitler is the target. However, there is a sign by the wise little pig's door in one scene that reads "No Japs(over a crossed out "Dogs")Allowed".

So, even in an otherwise relatively harmless anti-Nazi cartoon, one can see a bit of the general racism that characterised much of American popular culture before and during the Second World War.

Be seeing you.

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