Thursday, 26 March 2015

technical fairy, first class

The remarkable resource, the Public Domain Review, presents a really fascinating retrospective of how animation studios let slip the dogs, rabbits and ducks of war with patriotic cartoons parallel to the enlistment of Hollywood’s live-action actors in the 1940s, with a special look at the instructional cartoon series of hapless and sometimes reluctant Private Snafu.

The familiar acronym and familiar state-of-affairs was made friendly for general audiences, but interestingly as propaganda films were part of the war-effort and not subject to the same standards of censorship that relegated the commercial box-office and were able to get away with quite a bit more adult humour and raciness. Production, handled as a top-secret operation, brought together quite a few creative talents who would go on to become the some of the luminaries of the industry, including Mel Blanc, Chuck Jones, Theodore Geisel (Dr. Seuss), whose later punchlines and story-telling styles were shaped by this wartime collaboration—the approach to refining GIs in a straightforward but engaging manner translated well into entertainment and indemnity.