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This paper focuses on the influence of World War I and Nazi propaganda on American propaganda during World War II. I specifically analyzed the use of propaganda through the means of film using Walt Disney cartoons. What fueled the effectiveness of propaganda in film? Why were cartoons so intense? What methods did the producers employ in the features? I also wanted to look at the influence of Nazi propaganda on its counterpart, American propaganda. The majority of the focus on propaganda centered around Frank Capra’s “Why We Fight Series.” The focus on cartoons as a means of propaganda largely faded into obscurity. Disney took on the task of making propaganda more palatable to the American people through the use of cartoons. American public opinion on propaganda influenced the characteristics and themes of each cartoon. Disney utilized four methods to accomplish their purpose: the use of color, theme, humor, and music.


This paper was written as part of the History Research Seminar (HIST 4603) taught by Dr. Bethany Hicks.

Additionally, this paper was presented at the 2018 Phi Alpha Theta Biennial Convention in New Orleans. The video of the presentation is embedded below, and the Power Point is supplemental material.

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Conference.pptx (65005 kB)
Convention Presentation Power Point

Hailey Thompson.MTS (1262652 kB)
Video of Presentation

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