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Cartoons in Hard Times


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Table of Contents

List of Figures Acknowledgements List of Abbreviations 1. The Storyboard So Far 2. The Roosevelt Honeymoon 1932-1934 3. Animating Depression America 1934-1937 4. International Relations in Animation 1936-1941 5. Animated Nationalism 1937-1941 6. Animation at War: Disney, Warner Brothers and the United States Government 1941-1943 7. Animation at War: Disney, Warner Brothers and War-Time Entertainment 1941-1945 8. That's All Folks Works Cited Filmography

Promotional Information

Presents the animation of the Disney and Warner Brothers Studios from 1933 to 1945 in a thematic content analysis, combined with original archival research and historical understanding.

About the Author

Tracey Louise Mollet is a Lecturer in Media and Communication at the University of Leeds, UK.


An essential guide for animation and film historians, and historians of American social history. Very few books have touched on the cultural significance of the Disney and Warner Brothers animated shorts of the 1930s and 1940s, and few have delved into the kind of precise detail that Mollet employs in her skilled analysis of this important period of American animation. * Animation: an Interdisciplinary Journal *
Mollet offers a close study of those cartoons produced by Disney and Warner's beginning in 1930 with the outset of the Great Depression and concludes with the end of World War II in 1945. Her volume is expertly conceived, scrupulously researched, and smartly written, providing just the right balance between objective information and personal interpretation. This will immediately become the definitive study of this fascinating and unique niche in the history of Hollywood animation. * Douglas Brode, author of From Walt To Woodstock: How Disney Created the Counterculture *
Offering balanced coverage of the short-form animations of both Walt Disney and Warner Brothers, between 1932 and 1945, Mollet provides a compelling account of how both studios gradually established the persuasive - and at times propagandistic - credentials of animation at a time of significant economic, social, and political transformation. By providing a detailed analysis of the themes, stories, and symbols found in these animated shorts, Mollet's book is sure to become a lasting reference point for readers wishing to learn more about how these films engaged with the prevailing issues of their time. * Chris Pallant, Senior Lecturer, Canterbury Christ Church University, UK *
This an ambitious and tremendously thorough book which sheds light on some neglected areas of animation, in particular early Warners and Disney short cartoons. It will appeal both to students of animation and those interested in American popular culture between 1932 and 1945. It puts cartoons of this period in the context of wider historical events - in particular the depression, Roosevelt and the Second World War - and re-examines the role of animation in the overall history of Hollywood. It not only analyses these cartoons in depth, but also demonstrates the importance of animation in the field of propaganda. In doing all this It highlights some of the lesser known work of some America's pre-eminent animators, including Tex Avery, Bob Clampett, David Hand, Chuck Jones and Frank Tashlin. * Dave Huxley, Senior Lecturer, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK *
Tracey Mollet's Cartoons in Hard Times is the examination of animated shorts that Animation scholars and students have been needing for some time. Its examination of the ways that animation both reflected and played an important role in two periods of intense crisis - the Great Depression and World War II - is one that will fascinate animation scholars and animation fans alike. * Amy M. Davis, Lecturer in Film and Animation Studies, University of Hull, UK *

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