Animated Enemies

Selected and Introduced by James Forsher

Almost by the nature of the medium, animation tends toward caricature. This intrinsic ability to distort social and political realities has been exploited over the years as a tool for propaganda, sometimes in the service of such issues as race relations and moral conduct, at other times to bolster national policies. Tonight we'll see Laundry Blues, an early-thirties racist cartoon that doesn't whitewash Chinese or Jews; an anti-union animated short from 1915; GI Quiz, tips about World War II for the sad sack; Hitler cast as a cartoon duck; the Man of Steel taking on the Axis; that rascally rabbit Bugs singing “Buy a Bond Today”; and many others.

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