Reason and Emotion (1944)

Article 5306 by Dave Sindelar
Date: 11-26-2016
Directed by Bill Roberts
Featuring the voice of Frank Graham
Country: USA
What it is: Wartime propaganda, Disney style

The battle for control of the human will between reason and emotion is exemplified.

In some ways, this wartime propaganda short is a precursor to the recent Pixar film INSIDE OUT, in that it portrays two aspects of the human psyche battling for control of their host. It’s perhaps most effective in showing how unbridled emotion can give way to bad decisions and stress; the scene where a man finds himself reduced to a nervous wreck after having been hammered by a series of paranoid statements from various sources is my favorite moment. Though it can’t help but simplify things overmuch (it’s only an eight-minute cartoon, after all), it is still useful and relevant, and as such, transcends the propagandistic nature of its conception.


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