The Story Of Menstruation: Walt Disney’s Sex Ed Film from 1946

Throughout the past two years, we’ve shown you various Walt Disney propaganda films from World War II. Now it’s time to visit a very different mid-1940s Disney production — The Story of Menstruation. From 1945 to 1951, Disney produced a series of educational films to be shown in American schools. How to bathe an infant. How not to catch a cold. Why you shouldn’t drive fast. Disney covered these subjects in its educational shorts, and then eventually got to the touchy subject of biology and sexuality. If there was ever a company suited to talk about “vaginas” in the 1940s in a copacetic way, it was Disney. Hence The Story of Menstruation. The film runs 10 minutes, combining scientific facts with hygiene tips, and it was actually commissioned by the International Cello-Cotton Company, the forerunner of Kimberly-Clark, the maker of Kotex products. An estimated 105 million students watched the film in sex ed classes across the US. And, according to Tinker Belles and Evil Queens, the film remained a mainstay in schools until the 1960s. It’s now in the public domain. When you’re done, you’ll also want to watch Family Planning, Walt Disney’s 1967 Sex Ed Production, Starring Donald Duck

Both films appear in the Animation section of our collection of 675 Free Online Movies.

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  • Mike "Ski" Wekarski,TSGT USAF retired says:

    Is it me, or does that baby look like it is wearing lipstick. Beyond that, a good info film. We use to watch videos in service, Blood On The Road and such, good training.

  • I agree, nicely done for its time, except for the totally creepy lipstick baby.

  • Lilith says:

    Especially love Gloria Blondell’s classic elocution of the era.

  • charmen says:

    I want to watch any movie online please

  • LB says:

    Well, they had to let you know that bald-headed baby was a girl somehow…and she wasn’t just wearing lipstick, she had eyeliner and mascara on too. ;)

    Anyway, yeah, I agree this was quite well done. I’m new to this site and enjoying it very much…thanks!

  • FlyingSnow says:

    I especially like the part where the girl is in front of the mirror and messes up her hair and starts weeping. Evidently “no matter how you feel, you have to live with people!”

  • Truly S. says:

    “Until the 1960s”? Hah, they showed my class of 4th-grade girls this same movie in the early ’70s…it had a long, long life. Don’t you just love how it lectures girls about how you need to “stop feeling sorry for yourself”? Wow, no sympathy at all…Of course, it left us all wondering how that egg got fertilized when it got fertilized, because you notice it says nothing about THAT process at all. In fact, it makes it sound downright backwards–as if the egg gets fertilized AFTER the woman is going to have a baby, instead of the fertilization of the egg being the REASON the woman is going to have a baby. Very sneaky, Sis! If any of us wanted to find out how the fertilization happened, Uncle Walt sure as heck wasn’t going to tell us. That one was an Ask-your-mother.

  • Au042fCHIE MOOu042fE says:

    I learned all I needed to know from Aunt Flo:

  • sunshine says:

    OMG, that baby has its head resting on a nice comfy pillow.Danger!

    As for video, I was disappointed that it didn’t show what really going to happen.I would have no clue as to what it all meant.

  • Lori says:

    Well, I had to read this booklet when I was a kid and see the movie. It bears no relationship to reality, then, or now. When you experience extremely debilitating cramps for days, simple exercises do nothing to help.

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