Monday, September 7, 2009

My Labor Day Special, Comrades!

How do you celebrate the annual day of labor in the United States? How about with some cartoons? I mean, after all, these films are usually made by cheap Vietnamese labor, so it's a perfect fit. These cartoons, however, are free of that manual labor and instead are the works of different, starving hands. Today, I bring you the best animated work to come out from behind the 'Iron Curtain.' For no particular reason, I bring you...
In a four DVD set, the best works from this era have been unearthed. All of these, as the name would imply, were designed to promote the Communist agenda around the world. Of course, most of these works have not been seen by Imperialist eyes until this release. These cartoons are a mix of animation styles, quality and color (some are black and white). They cover many subjects, from American Imperialists to Facist Barbarians. The one common thing is that they have all the subtlety of a giant hammer and sickle to the head. Much like The Return of Fritz the Cat, I am going to analyze the thing as separate pieces.

*One of them is about a boat that is made by a small child and set to the sea. For no apparent reason, every nation's naval forces are trying to destroy it. Maybe it has something to do with the name of the boat: Communism. The boat manages to survive by constantly being taken in by small countries, fixed up and put back in the water. I can't help but feel that there is some symbolism here somewhere...

*Another one deals with a rich man in America who moves off to a desert island to enjoy his money. Unfortunately for him, oil is discovered on this island...because that makes sense...and suddenly everyone wants to get it. Oh, I get it. His love of wealth has turned full-circle and he has to fend people off who want to get his money. I almost did not get that!

*One is the tale of a dog who gets his old lady owner's fortune. The beast becomes just as bad as the real people around him. He even joins the United States Congress! I can smell the symbolism a mile away. This is more of an insult towards Communists than it is towards us. Who else needs their messages so blunt that Willie Nelson would smoke them?

*My personal favorite is the tale of a young man who moves to America to make it back. He finds no jobs there, however, and is quite down. Incidentally, this man never speaks, which could be why he can't get any jobs in the service industry. Finally, he gets a job cleaning up in a shooting gallery! One day, a man accidentally fires at him, which piques the other rich men's interests. Soon enough, our man is a human target in a shooting gallery! Not only that, but he gets married and lives there!

These cartoons are a real trip to watch! The earliest ones come from the 1920s, while the latest ones are from the 1970s. The animation quality ranges from cutout to genuinely good. The actual restoration quality is a mixed bag as well, given the source materials at hand. Every disc comes with a documentary that explains the context of every cartoon on them as well. You really don't need most of them, but they do accent the whole thing. If you are looking for some really weird bits of history, look no further. This is something else.
Up next, a film about time travel, airplanes and Martin Sheen. Stay tuned...


  1. Ohh man I bet thats a blast to watch, I still have an old VHS with classic Looney Tunes WWII mischief in it, its insane watching the old toons that are polictically incorrect by all modern standards!

  2. Yeah, they are actually pretty good. I would get Disc 1, because that is all about the evil Imperialists. The last segment I mentioned is from there. I highly recommend that one for sure.