ERIC Number: ED232207
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Propaganda in Warner Brothers World War II Cartoons.
Machowski, James Stanley; Brown, James William
To examine the role of the animated cartoon in propaganda associated with World War II, 194 of 262 cartoons produced for theatrical release by Warner Brothers, Inc., from 1939 to 1946 were analyzed. Propaganda content was determined by the number and nature of symbols used and the cartoon's "attitudes" toward these symbols. An analysis grid was developed using categories suggested by the literature on content analysis, propaganda, film analysis, animation, and World War II. Visual and audio symbols were coded separately, as were home front/civilian versus war/military occurrences or symbols. A separate area was designated for the analysis of the appearance, behavior, and interaction of characters. All films were viewed at least twice to verify findings. Findings indicated that in the majority of the cartoons, the propaganda was a quick intrusion of the reality of wartime, secondary to the main action and theme of the cartoon. Furthermore, (1) the United States and its allies and allied historical characters were portrayed positively; (2) allied characters won the conflicts; and (3) Warner's main characters were identified with the United States and defeated characters identified with its enemies. In the films that featured Germans or Japanese, there were certain extreme portrayals: German culture and language were ridiculed along with the Nazis, and the Japanese language, physical features, and customs also appeared in an unappealing light. (HOD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Warner Brothers; World War II
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (66th, Corvallis, OR, August 6-9, 1983).