Donald Duck – An American Hero
Donald was one of the first to enlist in World War II and the last to be discharged – nearly 40 years later! A series of six Army shorts began with his Army physical, where Donald was accepted in spite of being too short, color blind, and having flat feet. He then went through boot camp under Sergeant Black Pete. In his very first mission, Donald sabotaged a Japanese air base.
Disney also produced Der Fuehrer’s Face, which was released in 1943. The propaganda film stars Donald as an artillery factory worker in “Nutziland” (Nazi Germany). He struggles with long working hours, very small food rations, and having to salute every time he sees a picture of Hitler. These pictures appear in many places, such as on the assembly line in which he is screwing in the detonators of various sizes of shells. After suffering a nervous breakdown, Donald wakes up to find that his experience was just a nightmare. At the end of the short film Donald looks to the Statue of Liberty and the American flag with renewed appreciation. Der Fuehrer’s Face won the 1943 Academy Award for Animated Short Film.