9 Weird Disney Education And Propaganda Films

In the ’40s, Disney produced animated shorts instructing Americans on everything from menstruation to Hitler’s horribleness to why “teachers are people.”

1. The Story of Menstruation

What: 10 educational minutes for girls of a certain age.
Choice Quote: “Why is nature always called Mother Nature? Perhaps it’s because, like any mother, she quietly manages so much of our living without our ever realizing there’s a woman at work.”

2. Private Snafu

What: A military training film commissioned by the U.S. Army to instruct soldiers on the importance of keeping military secrets. Don’t tell your mom anything! Also that pretty lady is hiding Nazi microphones in her breasts.
Choice Quote: “‘Cause when I learn a secret, boy I zipper up my lip.”

3. Education for Death: The Making of a Nazi

What: This was produced during WWII when Disney was under contract to create films for the government. This legitimately scary 10-minute film tells the story of young Hans, an innocent German child, who, under Hitler’s scary, oppressive presence, becomes an evil Nazi.
Choice Quote: “Marching and heil-ing…Hans grows up. In him is planted no seed of laughter, hope, tolerance, or mercy. For him, only heil-ing and marching…as the years grind on. Manhood finds him still heil-ing and marching, but the grim years of regimentation have done their work. Now he is a good Nazi.”

4. How to Play Golf

What: Goofy demonstrates (or attempts to demonstrate) as the narrator explains the facets of the game.
Choice Quote: “Contrary to popular belief, golf is not a waste of time.”

5. Insects as Carriers of Disease

What: A PSA for the United States Information Service about the dangers of insects, featuring Charlie, a dirty peasant who has no problem with his friend Miss Fly…until HE DIES.
Choice Quote: “For your yard is full of filth and garbage giving [Miss Fly] a perfect place to live and breed. And you have neighbors who help her, too, for they have no latrine, and leave their waste in the field…Miss Fly is very fond of filth.”

6. How to Ride a Horse

What: Goofy attempts another of man’s most dignified sports — horseback riding. At a time when people were still riding them…presumably?
Choice Quote: “Riding is perhaps one of the most beneficial forms of exercise. The gentle rocking action of the horse acts as an invigorating tonic to those vital organs — the heart at the liver.”

7. Der Fuehrer’s Face

What: Another WWII propaganda film featuring Donald Duck as a Nazi (yeah), who is struggles to keep the pace in a German ammunitions factory. He eventually has a nervous breakdown. But then wakes up dressed as an American flag, so, phew.
Choice Quote: It’s basically all a musical number consisting of “Heil Hitler.”

8. Planning for Good Eating

What Another film Disney made for the government during WWII, this time explaining how humans need a variety of different types of foods to stay healthy.
Choice Quote: “Indeed we can all learn a lesson from Careful Charlie and his wife. For by eating the correct foods, they are now enjoying life. And they have given their children the priceless gift of good health.”

9. Teachers are People

What: A short starring Goofy as a teacher who has to control a group of incredibly annoying and ill-behaved children. After one of them bombs the school, he gets the disciplinary treatment he deserves…so supposedly this is a lesson in understanding that teachers put up with wayyyyy too much, so treat them like humans, mkay?
Choice Quote: “Hey, what’s the matter with my kid’s grammar!”

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