10 April 2012 by Tortola Tailspin
The United States entered World War II after being attacked at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941 by the Japanese. The earlier peace propaganda, used to encourage Americans to avoid war, was changed to war propaganda, calling for support of the war to defeat the Axis Powers. To support America’s war effort, MGM created another propaganda cartoon called Blitz Wolf (1). It was released in 1942 and directed by Tex Avery, who was known at the time for his hilarious gag cartoons. Though the cartoons main purpose is to encourage America support of the war effort, the cartoon also goes great lengths to make fun of the axis powers, especially Adolf Hitler, and to show that they are weak and will not obtain victory. Blitz Wolf was propaganda that encouraged the support of the war effort to bring victory to the allied powers and show the weaknesses of Adolf Hitler and the axis powers.
First, Blitz Wolf encouraged the support of the war effort through the familiar story of “The Little Pigs”. As it is traditionally told, the first and second little pigs built their houses of straw and sticks respectively. But in this story, the third little pig, dubbed “the smart little pig”, built his house of steel, guns, and barbed wire. The smart little pig and his home became the message as to what America should do when preparing to confront Hitler (the Big Bad Wolf in the toon) and his forces. Increasing America’s defenses would not only protect her from harm, but will ensure victory and show how weak Hitler really is.
Next, the cartoon depicts Hitler not only as a wolf trying to get the little pigs, but as an over-confident dictator who is actually weak technologically, militarily, and psychologically. The cartoon shows Hitler cowering away from American fire and air power, along with his weapons being easily destroyed by them. He is also someone who cannot be trusted, as he is shown going against the treaty of the little pigs by blowing their houses down (and with a mechanized huffer und puffer too!). Hitler is depicted as someone who is not as powerful as he seems. His weapons and ideological only make him weaker, showing that victory to America and the allied powers will be faster with support.
Then, unlike Peace on Earth’s dismal and non-victorious look at war, Blitz Wolf shows war as exciting, fast-paced, and with the right weapons, crippling to enemy forces. The cartoon promoted that victory can also be had through the purchase of war bonds to support the effort. The cartoon makes a couple of references to war bonds for supporting the war. War bonds could be used to provide all sorts of weapons and aid to American and allied forces. So, encouraging Americans to buy war bonds would let them feel they are doing a good thing by supporting the war and ensuring America’s victory against Hitler.
Blitz Wolf totes the message that America can win with public support. The more American audiences understand that Hitler is weak and has no chance of victory, the more likely that the allied forces will succeed.
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