Cartoon of the Day: Reason and Emotion

Reason and Emotion
1943
Directed by Bill Roberts
Available on: Walt Disney Treasures – On the Front Lines

Today we take a look at a very unique film from Disney’s war effort, “Reason and Emotion.” At first the film seems like a typical Disney educational film. I know I watched many of those in school on days when the teacher needed a break. The film is about how we can let our actions be controlled by our emotions (portrayed in the film as a little caveman) or we can listen to reason (a little egghead guy with glasses). The film shows us these little guys battling it out from the time we a toddlers up to adulthood.

But the film then takes a dramatic turn as it tells the audience that they need to not let their emotions run away with them during trying times. It then goes on to explain how Hitler has manipulated the emotions of the German people.

There is some brilliant animation here…well what do you expect from Disney. It’s interesting that once again the animation of a Hitler character is a real standout (see the looks at “The Ducktators” from a few days ago). Recalling actual footage of the man, I suppose there was a lot for the animators to work with. His mannerisms seem to have been tailor-made for exaggerating through animation.

This is a film that works on many levels. It grabs the audience with some solid humor and then really drives home an important message. One could probably make an argument that many of us still haven’t learned the lesson that Disney’s artists were trying to convey with this short 68 years ago.

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