Cartoons After The Great War

I’m not sure exactly which rabbit hole I fell into to find these, but I found some really interesting late 1920s to early 1930s cartoons depicting life during The Great War.

This first one is an Oswald the Rabbit cartoon directed by Walt Disney entitled “Great Guns.” It features a lot of the new technology being developed including tanks and machine guns although it also shows some of the more “primitive” weapons people were forced to use in the war.

I think this cartoon is super interesting because(as we touched on a little bit in class) World War I marked really the beginning of a move from personal combat (and to hand combat and people actively killing each other face to face like Paul did to Duval) to removed combat (much like the contemporary style we use today where often times people never really come face to face/ warfare becoming more mechanized).

This second cartoon, also an Oswald the Rabbit piece, is called “Not So Quiet” (already interesting sinceĀ All Quiet on the Western Front was published the year before this was released). “Not So Quiet” more prominently features aspects of trench warfare (even going into aspects as detailed as the amount of water and liquids that would accumulate inside the trenches). Another neat addition to this cartoon is the depiction of armistice at the end. We spoken lightly in class about how so many people knew the war would come to an end and so countless lives were lost wastefully. This cartoon shows that with Oswald being chased by a bomb until the armistice and then just having the chase end.

The final cartoon is an early example of Looney Tunes and is called “Bosko the Doughboy.” It clearly shows what life in the trenches was like down to the louse on the sergeant. This one also shows the water in the trenches and the boards placed on the ground to make walking in them easier.

I think all of the cartoons are super neat, not only because of the way they depict World War One, but because of how it seems like the world was coping with what had happened after the fact.

182 thoughts on “Cartoons After The Great War

  1. What’s up, Doc? I really enjoyed your post because I am a huge fan of cartoons. It is also very interesting how history can be seen through cartoons and comics as well. When I went to the National Museum of the Marine Corps recently they were playing a short clip from Looney Tunes about enlisting in the Marines which I found very cool.

    Also, animation as played a key role in proganda for wars. Netflix still has some of these movies but most of them deal with WWII like the Battle of San Pietro.

    Finally, I think media has an important place to play in history. It not only encapsulates the mentalities of that time but it also is a big part of the American culture. Especially considering, for example, how people like Theodore Geisel aka Dr. Seuss dedicated his artistic abilites to the war effort during WWII.

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