Poster

The New Spirit

A Wartime Short

Release Date : January 23, 1942

Running Time : 7:23

Synopsis

Donald is taught the importance of paying his income taxes willingly and promptly.

Characters

Donald Duck

Credits

Asst. Director
Lou Debney
Animation
Edwin Aardal

DVD

United States
Disney Treasures : On the Front Lines

Technical Specification

Color Type: Technicolor
Animation Type: Standard animation
Sound Mix: Mono
Aspect Ratio: 1.37 : 1
Negative Format: 35mm
Print Format: 35mm
Cinematographic Process: Spherical
Original Language: English

Comments

From Jerry Edwards : Donald is encouraged by a radio bulletin to pay his income tax promptly to support the war effort. Using wartime propaganda and Disney humor, the public is encouraged to pay their income tax with a minimum of grumbling. Instead of mailing his money in, Donald is shown eagerly running across country from California to Washington, D.C. to deliver his tax payment in person. The animation then shifts to less humorous, more warlike images. A Japanese battleship with the Rising Sun painted on its side explodes, and this Rising Run slowly sinks beneath the ocean to the strains of Beethoven's Fifth. A Nazi submarine is also blown up, and the film cuts to a closeup of the Nazi flag being flushed away in a vortex of dark, swirling water. Allied aircraft and tanks are shown destroying a huge Nazi war machine monster. The final shot of the short reveals a watercolor wash sky of multicolored clouds that form the U.S. flag.

This short is nicely done, considering Disney was given a very short lead time to complete it. I especially enjoy the "humanizing" of the ink pen and other writing accessories - which contribute to the humor of the short.

It always bothered me how Walt Disney was treated as a result of this short. Walt was not paid in advance for the costs of making the short, so the Treasury Department had to go to Congress to get the money. Due to some scandals during that time due to inappropriate Congressional appropriations, Walt was labeled a war profiteer for being expected to be paid for the film. Walt was actually going to lose money on the short even after being paid. Plus Disney lost theater rental revenue because the theaters would pull other Disney cartoons when showing this short.


From Ryan : This propaganda short had more entertainment value than All Together. I enjoyed the scene where Donald goes all the way to Washington, D.C. to mail his income tax instead of just mailing it at the mailbox.
From Baruch Weiss : This sure was a great way to encourage Americans to pay their taxes on time even though Donald did not want to do it at first, but then the announcer on the radio won him over. That was probably based on how the Government in the person of the Secretary of State did not want to use Donald as the Average citizen, but Walt won him over. I think this was good because it made the cartoon better.

Referenced Comments