Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1946/9520
Intersections of modernity : nationalism, the history of animation movies, and World War II propaganda in the United States of America
Today, animations are generally considered to be a rather innocuous form of entertainment for children. However, this has not always been the case. For example, during World War II, animations were also produced as instruments for political propaganda as well as educational material for adult audiences. In this thesis, the history of the production of animations in the United States of America will be reviewed, especially as the years of World War II are concerned. The issue of nationalism and, in particular, American nationalism as it transpires through animation movies will also be discussed. Additionally, some attention will be paid to the origin of well-known cartoon characters and the most significant technical changes in the field of animation through the years. These three areas of inquiry—i.e. the history of American animations, their nationalist component, and their most important characters and technical innovations—will be dealt with via an overview of the life and activities of the most important movie studios in the United States of America. These studios were not only the very heart of the animation business throughout the 20th century, but they were also amongst the biggest ideological supporters of the Unites States government and army during World War II. They produced many animations for war propaganda as well as instructional films for the Army and the Navy. Such animations featured often well-known cartoon characters such as Bugs Bunny, Superman, Donald Duck and Daffy Duck, all of whom fought against the Axis power. Out of the many animation produced during World War II, twelve were selected and analyzed in this thesis in connection with topic of American nationalism.