When Walt Disney and his eponymous company entered the new decade of the 1960s, there was no doubt that The Walt Disney Company was on the move.
Upon its release in late 1942, the Disney cartoon Der Fuehrer’s Face became a smash hit in the United States, winning the Academy Award® for Best Short Subject in 1943. But the home front was not its only theater of action. Der Fuehrer’s Face went overseas, and served the war effort in more ways than one. “It was the most popular propaganda film we had,” Walt Disney told journalist Pete Martin in the 1950s. “It was put in all languages… They had it in the underground.
When the United States entered World War II in 1941, Walt Disney had been busy challenging commonly-held perceptions about animated cartoons. A medium once largely relegated to novelty, Disney’s animated films offered drama and pathos along with humor and song. Walt spent more than a decade elevating the art form to new levels of technique, performance, and quality.
“Do you know what Gremlins are?” asked the national gossip columnist Louella Parsons in October 1942. “They are imaginary little characters who fly with the R. A. F. [Royal Air Force] pilots. They are mischievous little elves who become so real to the R. A. F. boys that they almost live and breathe.” It just so happened, reported Ms. Parsons, that none other than Walt Disney himself was planning to make a film about these little creatures.
Join Bri and Chris on the newest episode of WD-FM Museum Musings as they share upcoming museum programs and share some of their favorite Disney topics. In celebration of the premiere of Muppets Haunted Mansion on Disney+, join Muppet Performers Dave Goelz and Bill Barretta—the hands and voices behind The Great Gonzo and Pepe the King Prawn—in this special interview where they share behind-the-scenes moments from this spooky new special.
When the Haunted Mansion finally opened to guests in August 1969, its 999 resident ghosts were ready to socialize. But, as we all know, spooks don’t come out for a swinging wake without suitable musical accompaniment. Here’s how “Grim Grinning Ghosts” materialized…
With the United States’ entrance into World War II following the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, propaganda became ubiquitous on the home front as the process of rallying the American war effort began. Posters of Uncle Sam and Rosie the Riveter became synonymous with the redoubtable American spirit of optimism and determination. World War II was not simply the war of the soldier, but of every man, woman, and child in the United States, and each individual was expected to do their part in the fight.