A FEW QUICK FACTS ABOUT FEAR (1945)
Article 4109 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Zack Schwartz
Featuring the voices of Mel Blanc and Robert C. Bruce
What it is: Private Snafu short
The concept of fear is illustrated, with emphasis on how the emotion can help us rather than impede us.
During the forties, the US government financed a series of animated shorts for the armed forces featuring the character of Private Snafu; these were designed to be humorous educational shorts for our men in uniform. Most of the ones I’ve seen have been from Warner Brothers, but this one is from UPA, and the graphic quality is therefore more abstract. The short chooses to approach its subject from the point of view of a medieval knight (played by Snafu) encountering a fire-breathing dragon, which is what gives this short its fantastic content. It’s a pretty bare-bones affair and lacks the comedic flair of many of the other shorts in the series, but it makes for some interesting viewing nonetheless; after all, at three minutes, it hardly wears out its welcome. Incidentally, one of the writers is none other than Dr. Suess.