Governments have used various methods to propagate their ideas and beliefs to the people. Every now and then, a movie or a cartoon would be broadcasted on national television in an attempt to plant various ideas in the heads of viewers. However, you would expect these creations to look quite serious and clear, not like weird caricatures. The following five propagandistic movies and TV shows do not make much sense, and they most probably did not achieve their goals.
1. Picture Book 1936
Not even Mickey Mouse was spared from propaganda. The action takes place in 1936, as Mickey enters the scene of the cartoon on the wings of a huge bat. He brings with himself a list of demands from the Americans to Japan. A cat becomes terribly enraged and ends up setting the documents on fire and declaring war. Mickey is accompanied by bats, snakes and alligators (a suggestion at the American submarines). Japan is ultimately saved by a traditional character named Momotaro, who manages to restore peace. The cartoon was released at the time when The League of Nations and America were trying to stop the expansionist attempts of Japan. As a result, the producers wanted to represent what would happen if the Japanese would be stopped, and how they would deal with it.
2. Nimbus Libéré
At the time of this cartoon, a lot of propaganda against the West was still going on in France. The government was trying to make a negative image for the Allies, stating that they will bomb innocent people when trying to liberate the country. The cartoon shows Mickey Mouse, Popeye, Goofy and Felix the Cat flying bombers. They manage to accidentally kill a person who was listening to Allied propaganda on the radio. The radio speaker is a Jew represented in a racist way. It is a weird mix that does not manage to send a clear message: were they trying to remove the German rule or to support it by portraying the Allies as careless villains?
3. Squirrel and Hedgehog
Country: North Korea
This list would not be complete without this series from North Korea. During its 32 episodes, Squirrel and Hedgehog show the cute animals living in a wonderful place named Flower Hill, a representation of the state itself. However, they have to constantly defend themselves from the vicious attacks of wolves, weasels and rats, a.k.a. America, South Korea and Japan. The series manages to create the opposite effect to the one it pursued: it compliments the enemy and insults the country. The North Koreans look feeble and weak and often have crying fits, while their enemies have a tough presence, as well as proving their loyalty and bravery.
4. Saturday’s Hunter
This movie presents the story of a rabbi named Hanan, who raises Benjamin, his grandson, to become a Zionist figure. His reasons for doing so involve his belief that their Jewish community will be granted immense power, compared to the one of God. The clear idea was to antagonize the viewers against the Jews, as the two main characters are often seen practicing shooting on Arab people or committing all sorts of mass murder. Surprisingly, Saturday’s Hunter was not produced by the Iranian government, but it did air on national television for all to watch.
5. Chavez In Heaven
This series of cartoons was broadcasted by national TV channel Vive, and showed president Hugo Chavez’s time in Heaven. The place looked different from time to time, either as a lush paradise or a sea of clouds. The president has talks with historical figures like Simon Bolivar and Che Guevara, but also has a short moment with Uncle Sam. The later tries to climb next to Chavez on the clouds but ends up hit by a satellite and falls back to Earth, thus being deprived of sitting with the Central and South American luminaries.