To mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War Two, Disney illustrator and animator Gerald Scarfe tells the story of Walt Disney’s on and off-screen contribution to the war effort in a fascinating BBC Radio 4 documentary Donald Duck Gets Drafted.
The documentary which was broadcast yesterday (Wednesday 2 September 2015) explores how the iconic Studio in California became a war plant in the 1940s, churning out groundbreaking military training films and propaganda shorts, educational posters and leaflets, along with insignias for troops to help boost morale on the frontline.
Gerald, who worked as production designer on Disney’s 1997’s big screen animation Hercules, examines what motivated Walt to offer his artists’ inkwells as weapons of war. He uncovers why Donald Duck rather than Mickey Mouse became the Studio’s wartime mascot and reveals which film reportedly put Walt on Hitler’s own personal hit list. Plus he examines Walt Disney’s personal role as a Goodwill Ambassador in South America, intended to help stem potential Nazi influence.
Produced by Kellie Redmond Donald Duck Gets Drafted is A Somethin’ Else Production for BBC Radio 4 as is available on the BBC iPlayer Radio service to listen again via this link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0680gts#play