SUMMARY: A short examination of the mechanics of fear, featuring Private Snafu.
WHY IT’S HERE: The excellent Private Snafu shorts made for the military were at their best when Warner Bros. were making them. However, there were various other studios that also used the character, including Disney and MGM. This extremely short film which examines the human response of fear, was a UPA effort which constituted one of a short series of Snafu films subtitled ‘A Few Quick Facts’. Less entertaining that the Warner shorts, these educational films are nevertheless worthy of attention. The best of the bunch is ‘Fear’, which remains powerful in its examination of how the human body reacts to threat. While much propaganda would depict Americans as fearless, stout-hearted warriors, this short offers a more honest account of the fear that anyone fighting in a war would naturally feel. The film ultimately argues that this fear can be harnessed to strengthen the attacking spirit of a soldier but the instinct to turn and run is also acknowledged, surely an essential element of a film that would be shown to many people who longed to do just that but feared they were the only ones who felt that way.