Donald Duck, a nazi?

I heard from a friend that there was a Disney cartoon made during World War II, where Donald Duck was a soldier fighting for Nazi Germany. I don’t believe him, but I was wondering if this is really true or not?

Yes, it’s true. The cartoon was released in 1943 and was titled Der Fuerhrer’s Face, (probably after the Spike Jones song of the same name). The story took the form of a nightmare in which Donald Duck found himself working in a Nazi munitions factory. The shells go by on the assembly line faster and faster until disaster strikes.

Incidentally, Disney Studios produced quite a few animated shorts during the war which were used for training purposes; some of the titles include Aircraft Carrier Landing Signals, Aircraft Production Processes, The Battle of China, Defense Against Invasion, Basic Map Reading, Victory Through Air Power, and Fundamentals of Artillery Weapons.
I’m sure none of these were on a par with Aladdin, but hey, there was a war on, ya know.

Are there any collections of war era cartoons such as this that are purchaseable?

Man, you got me. You could maybe try contacting Disney and see what they’ve got to say-----I’m sure they have some sort of website.

Personally, I think my favorite WWII cartoon is the Warner Brothers job where Bugs Bunny is flying off on a bombing mission with none other than Adolf Hitler at the controls. Hilarious. The stage-German accents are a hoot.

This thread came up before, and someone thoughtfully provided a link to an image that showed Donald in his nazi outfit, kind of chilling.
I can’t get the search engine to work, maybe that person will read this and include a link to that thread, or just to the picture.

I would bet that Disney has no plans on releasing it. I would think that it would be a great museum exhibit, though. Propaganda cartoons from the WW2 era. Ahh, to be a museum curator for a week.


Sorry folks, I had to remove the graphic, it’s copyrighted material and we do not hold the copyright.

However, you can go look at it HERE: Donald Duck (Der Fuhrer’s Face)

Papa, I know you mean well, but please don’t do this again. It’s okay to post small graphic files, but we can’t archive copyrighted material without permission of the copyright holder – and I doubt that we have permission.

your humble TubaDiva/SDStaffDiv
for the Straight Dope
(Nickrz said go ahead and edit)

[Note: This message has been edited by TubaDiva]

:o What is he doing with that little pill?

That “litle pill” is a coffee bean, Louie. As a German citizen in Hitler’s Reich, Donald is forced to brew his coffee from a single bean that he dips into hot water on the end of a string. Notice that he must keep his single bean in a safe along with his other scarce rations.

The point that hasn’t been made so far is that “Der Fuerhrer’s Face” was an ANTI-Nazi propaganda film. The cartoon is supposed to be Donald’s nightmare of what life would be like in the 3rd Reich. In the end, Donald wakes up, happy to be a citizen of the good ole U.S. of A.

Years back there was a a shorts collection called (I believe) “Cartoons Go to War.”
It was a collection of Warner Bros. shorts with a decided WWII. It may even have had the now-embarrassing “Bugs Bunny Nips the Nips.”

There is a collection of cartoons called something like “Warner Brothers Goes to War.”

It is a shame that a lot of the scenes in cartoons have been trimmed for PC now a days. However a lot of the war slogans “turn out that light” (a common one) are left in and few people know what that means.

I used to love the Three Stooges they would be doing something and then for no reason they would suddenly face the camera and say “Bomb Tokyo.” These references are cut today.

Oh well what are you gonna do?

After I posted, I realized I didn’t do my homework like I shoulda. Now I’m back.

The video I was thinking of was “Bugs and Daffy’s Wartime Cartoons”, narrated by Leonard Maltin. It’s out of print, but you can sometimes find it in Blockbuster or one of those discount video bins.

It does have “BB Nips the Nips”, “Russian Rhapsody” (with the Gremlins from the Kremlin), and the incredibly insane “Draftee Daffy” (“why it’s the little man from the Drafts Board!”). Highly recommended.

Disney, on the other hand, seems to have decided not to release any of their wartime cartoons, even innocuous ones like “Victory Through Air Power.” I don’t know the reason but I can guess. Disney barely releases its classic cartoons (anyone ever seen “Clock Cleaners”?)in uncut form, only in repackaged “kiddy friendly” form. That’s means re-edited with new, crappy songs. Also, Disney is a coward when it comes to controversy (viz. “Song of the South”), so there’s no way they’ll even take a chance upsetting Germans with DFF. It’s a shame; Jack Kinney, the director, was one of the great Disney animators, and he pretty much directed this one without Walt’s interference.

I can’t believe a copy of DFF is unattainable. It was included in a critics’ list of the 50 greatest cartoons of all time. Where and when did these critics get the chance to view it?

Absolutely correct. Another one I have seen from time to time is Bugs Bunny in an airplane which is screaming to earth, but it stops dead four feet before hitting the ground. Bugs gestures to a sticker in the window of the plane and says, “Well, folks, you know how these ‘A’ coupons are!” The reference is to gasoline rationing—an “A” coupon in the window of your car meant you could only get so much gas and no more—you had to make it last. In other words, the plane didn’t crash because it ran out of gas just before hitting the ground, but how many people nowadays would get the reference? Not too many.

Another aspect is the music. I’ve seen one where the characters get home and find a note in the door that says “Working the swing shift–won’t be home until late. Dad.” The music playing in the background at that point is an old Glenn Miller tune called “The 5 O’Clock Whistle”; but how many people would know that now? There are more examples; the female rabbit swishing her tail at Bugs while “It Had To Be You” plays in the background. A lot of these Warner Brothers cartoons are like Rocky and Bullwinkle or Mystery Science Theater: if you know what’s behind the references, they’re a hell of a lot funnier.

I lacked a direct explanation, but as I got older I did come to assume that “turn out that light!” was a ref to required darkness to protect from air raids. I just couldn’t think of anything else that it could mean. :slight_smile:

Aw, shucks, I’m flattered. You called me thoughtful. Do me a favor and tell that to my ex-girlfriends.

I found out later that the link I gave is actually from a page run by our own Eutychus55.

Here’s Euty’s page on DFF:

Here’s the Internet Movie Database page on it:

Let’s try that again, shall we?

According to the “50 Greatest Cartoons” Disney refuses to release “Der Führer’s Face” simply because Donald wears a Nazi uniform. Never mind that Donald is only dreaming and he’s HAPPY to find he’s an American at the end of the cartoon! Disney must think kids are really stupid. Warners on the other hand sees no problem with “Hare Meets Herr” where Bugs disguises himself as Adolf Hitler! Warner does censor most anti-Japanese gags made in WWII cartoons…

This relates to an old thread on these boards, “is there any group that’s okay to hate?” Apparently, we can still make fun of Nazis, but not WWII era Japanese.

Undead Dud–you’re right, the “Put out that light!” gag is from old air-raid drills. Strict blackout was enforced in order to make night-time bombing more difficult for the enemy. We never had to worry about it in the US, but just ask an old Londoner…

I’ve seen the cartoons with the Japanese gags, and while I still think this is just PC bullshit, I noticed that the Japanese jokes had a somewhat racist overtone. While I don’t think they should be censored, I can see why people would be offended.

“I had a feeling that in Hell there would be mushrooms.” -The Secret of Monkey Island

Let me clarify the above post: The editing of the cartoons is the PC bullshit. I realize that that clause was poorly placed.