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 Walt Disney Company from the Inside Out, 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, 1,150 Free Movies Online: Great Classics, Indies, Noir, Westerns, etc..
Follow Open Culture on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google Plus, and Flipboard and share intelligent media with your friends. Or better yet, sign up for our daily email and get a daily dose of Open Culture in your inbox. To make sure that our posts definitely appear in your Facebook newsfeed, just follow these simple steps.
If you’d like to help support Open Culture, please sign up for a 30-day free trial from Audible.com or The Great Courses Plus. You will get free audio books and free courses in return. No strings attached.