Cartoons in Hard Times

Cartoons in Hard Times: The Animated Shorts of Disney and Warner Brothers in Depression and War 1932–1945

by Tracey Louise Mollet

Tracey Louise Mollet is a Lecturer in Media and Communication at the University of Leeds, UK. Author affiliation details are correct at time of print publication.

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Bloomsbury Academic, 2017
  • DOI:
  • ISBN:
    978-1-5013-2877-0 (hardback)

    978-1-5013-2874-9 (epdf)

    978-1-5013-2875-6 (epub)

    978-1-5013-2876-3 (online)
  • Edition:
    First edition
  • Place of Publication:
    New York
  • Published Online:
Cartoons in Hard Times
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Cartoons in Hard Times provides a comprehensive analysis of the short subject animation released by the Walt Disney and Warner Brothers from 1932 and 1945, one of the most turbulent periods in Unites States history. Through a combination of content analysis, historical understanding and archival research, this book sheds new light on a hitherto unexplored area of animation, suggesting the ways in which Disney and Warner Brothers animation engaged with historical, social, economic and political changes in this era.

The book also traces the development of animation into a medium fit for propaganda in 1941 and the changes in characters, tone, music and narrative that took place to facilitate this transition. Animation transformed in this era from a medium of entertainment, to a socio-political commentator before finally undertaking government sponsored propaganda during the Second World War.