The Making of a Nazi: Disney’s 1943 Animated Short

Dur­ing World War II, Walt Dis­ney entered into a con­tract with the US gov­ern­ment to devel­op 32 ani­mat­ed shorts. Near­ly bank­rupt­ed by Fan­ta­sia (1940), Dis­ney need­ed to refill its cof­fers, and mak­ing Amer­i­can pro­pa­gan­da films did­n’t seem like a bad way to do it. On numer­ous occa­sions, Don­ald Duck was called upon to deliv­er moral mes­sages to domes­tic audi­ences (see The Spir­it of ’43 and Der Fuehrer’s Face). But that was­n’t the case with Edu­ca­tion for Death: The Mak­ing of Nazi, a film shown in U.S. movie the­aters in 1943.

Based on a book writ­ten by Gre­gor Ziemer, this ani­mat­ed short–stream­able over at–used a dif­fer­ent line­up of char­ac­ters to show how the Nazi par­ty turned inno­cent youth into Hitler’s cor­rupt­ed chil­dren. Unlike oth­er top­ics addressed in Dis­ney war films (e.g. tax­es and the draft), this theme, the cul­ti­va­tion of young minds, hit awful­ly close to home. And it’s per­haps why it’s one of Dis­ney’s bet­ter wartime films. (Spiegel Online has more on Dis­ney’s WW II pro­pa­gan­da films here.)

You will find Edu­ca­tion for Death per­ma­nent­ly list­ed in the Ani­ma­tion sec­tion of our col­lec­tion of Free Movies Online.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Des­ti­no: The Sal­vador Dalí – Dis­ney Col­lab­o­ra­tion 57 Years in the Mak­ing

How Walt Dis­ney Car­toons Are Made

Walt Dis­ney Presents the Super Car­toon Cam­era

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Comments (3)
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  • leonel says:

    and why is that the video is not avail­able in europ France?

  • inDependent52 says:

    Inquir­ing minds want to know. Does Amer­i­ca have a Hitler? If so, who is he/she? Who is our Goer­hing? Goebels? Have a look at this Dis­ney ani­ma­tion. Ignore the word Nazi and the Reich flag. Sub­sti­tute the word Amer­i­ca for Ger­many. Try to work through it as a thought exer­cise. Are we, inad­ver­tent­ly, going down a dan­ger­ous road? If so, why? Can we avoid it? How?

  • Edward Turner says:

    We don’t have a Hitler moron but we do have right wing zealots who are anti_intellectual and regres­sive idiots who invent insid­i­ous con­cepts like Amer­i­can excep­tu­ual­ism and rant and rave about how any­one who does­n’t see things the way they do must be left­ists or com­mu­nists if we do have a Joseph gob­bles he would be like Sean han­ni­ty or rush Lim­baugh our names call them­selves con­ser­v­a­tives

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