Monday, March 30, 2009

Private Snafu: Gripes

Someone has been uploading Private Snafu shorts to the Internet Archive in greater numbers recently (thanks, K-otic!), and they're a treasure trove for both animation fans and history buffs. Films like these were invaluable for training a huge number of newly-enlisted civilians. You could teach them to shoot or to march easily enough, but teaching them to think like soldiers was another matter altogether. In this film, Private Snafu has to learn a lesson that goes by several names: Military discipline, teamwork, bread-and-circuses, and "the problems of three little people don't amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world." All part of training the soldier to take orders and not second-guess his superiors, which is vital in a wartime army but totally alien to a civilian.

Notice the similarities between the narration here and If I Ran the Circus, which I just read to the chilluns a few days ago. Same meter, same rhymes, and in some places even identical phrasing. Guess which animator probably wrote this one.

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