Out of the Frying Pan Into the Firing Line

A Wartime Short

Release Date : July 30, 1942

Running Time : 3:18


Minnie is taught the importance of conservation and recycling of bacon grease, which can be turned into glycerine for the war effort.


Minnie Mouse


Ben Sharpsteen


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

Released by RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.


From Ryan Kilpatrick at The Disney Film Project : Back to war quickly today, to cover another one of the wartime shorts that I missed early in the year. This is one of the most effective ones I have seen, mixing the use of the Disney characters with a simple message to get the point across.

No real story here, except that Minnie is frying bacon and eggs in a skillet, then gets ready to throw it out. Pluto is all excited to get the bacon grease, until the radio comes on and informs both he and Minnie about the uses that the war effort could get from old grease.

If you don’t have grandparents/parents who lived through the days of rationing or World War II, you should have them tell you about pouring used grease into tin cans and saving it. Believe it or not, that’s what they did, and then used the grease to make, well…everything!

That’s the message of the film, as it shows the grease dripping out of pans or pots, then turning into bombs, missiles and more. I will admit to being completely in the dark on how this whole process worked, but I know my grandmother talked about it all the time.

The short even goes into the process, showing Minnie pouring the grease into a can, storing it in the freezer, then allowing it to firm up. Once there’s enough, Pluto takes it to the butcher who’s collecting the cans. The butcher pays him in sausages, and the whole moral of the story is received.

Out of the Frying Pan Into the Firing Line is not high art, but as propaganda explaining a process, it’s pretty good. We see the popular Disney characters teaching us how to make this work, and it seems to work well. What more could you ask for?

From Jerry Edwards : The Conservation Division of the War Production Board ordered this film to illustrate how necessary it was to the war effort for housewives to save kitchen fats and grease. Minnie Mouse stars in the short as the representative American housewife. She offers some bacon drippings to Pluto but is interrupted by a radio voice which tells her that kitchen fat can be converted into glycerin, which is needed to make cannon shells. Pluto, now convinced his sacrifice will help the boys at the front, spurns Minnie's offer and brings her a can in which to store the fats. Pluto takes the can to a local meat market - and gets wieners in return.

A nicely done short - gets the message across in an entertaining manner. Mickey is shown in a photo in fighting uniform as an example of one of "our boys at the front."

From Ryan : This short did not have much for entertainment value, but I like it historicalwise. As Minnie is about to give some bacon grease to Pluto (which is not a wise decision as it is very unhealthy), she hears an announcement on the radio. The announcer tells housewives of America to preserve their bacon grease so that it can be made into nitro-glycerin for the war effort. I enjoyed the part where Pluto takes the pound of bacon grease to the meat market. Instead of being paid in cash, Pluto would rather have wieners.
From Dino Cencia : I loved this short! I give it a 905 out of 905.
From Baruch Weiss : Like Ryan, I enjoyed this cartoon historicalwise seeing that it was released during World War 2 and thus more educational then entertaining. Minnie is about to give Pluto some bacon grease, but is stopped by the announcer on the radio not to do so and to save the grease which Pluto takes to the butcher and ends up getting weenies instead of money. Reminds me of my dogs, all they think about is food, if it is not food then it is food!