SUMMARY: Donald Duck finds himself as a Nazi in wartime Germany, reluctantly working on a production line of artillery shells.
WHY IT’S HERE: One of the most remarkable propagandist cartoons ever made, ‘Der Fuehrer’s Face’ casts Donald Duck as a Nazi(!), albeit a reluctant one, bullied by his Hitler worshipping superiors into constantly manning a production line churning out gun-shells. The unbelievably bold choice of actually casting Donald in the role of a Nazi in order to make fun of the enemy still amazes viewers today, although because of its wartime content the short is rarely seen by those who do not seek it out. Oliver Wallace’s theme tune, which became a raspberry-blowing hit for Spike Jones and His City Slickers before the cartoon was even released, plays a major part in the short, uniting the two styles of cartoon that made up all of that year’s Oscar nominees, namely wartime propaganda and musical comic relief. Of those shorts, ‘Der Fuehrer’s Face’ clearly was, and still is, the most devastatingly powerful in its savagely satirical approach to humour which ought to silence any ill-informed critic who writes off Disney as nothing but honey-dripping sweetness and light. In Donald, Disney finally had a hit character whose personality allowed them to make films of such visceral humour.