The Spirit of '43

A Wartime Short

Release Date : January 7, 1943


A companion piece to "The New Spirit" has Donald struggling with two sides of his personality, one a spendthrift, the other a tightwad, and , in the end, deciding to show the proper spirit and pay his income tax.


Donald Duck


Jack King
Ward Kimball


United States
Great and Minor Animation Vol. 3
Donald Duck
Cartoon Collections Vol. 1 : Porky in Wackyland


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


From Jerry Edwards : Donald Duck is torn between the temptations of a zoot-suited spendthrift and a gentle, counseling, thrifty Scotsman (who looks like an early version of Uncle Scrooge McDuck). These two opposing forces engage in a tug-of-war over Donald until both lose their grip and crash in opposite directions.

The Scotsman crashes into a wall whose plaster falls away to reveal lines of red bricks and white mortar with a window of stars on a blue field - a composition of the American flag. The spendthrift crashes into a bar whose swinging door shatters into a swastika. His bow tie has become a swastika as well, and he blows swastika-shaped smoke rings and now sports a Hitler mustache and forelock.

Donald approaches the spendthrift, but instead of succumbing to his entreaties, Donald smacks him. Donald then hurries to the Internal Revenue window to pay his taxes. The ending animation of The New Spirit was repeated.

Walt Disney, after the problems being paid for The New Spirit, insisted on the Treasury Department getting the money from Congress before he did the short. The money was reduced to only $20,000 - so only the Donald Duck animation was changed from the previous The New Spirit.

Entertaining, but the main interest is historically.

From Ryan : I found some entertainment value in this short, but I mainly liked it historicalwise. Donald has just been paid. There are two sides of a person as the narrator says: the spendthrift (who urges people to spend their money the way they want) and the thrifty (who urges people to save some of their money for important things). I noticed that the thrifty side looked somewhat like Scrooge McDuck and even talked in a Scottish accent. The spendthrift had a swastika on his sleeve, and in one scene even had the hairstyle and mustache of Hitler. After some time battling between the thrifty and spendthrift, Donald does the good thing: he saves the money to pay his income tax. By doing this, he can help his country, along with the other allied countries, win the war. It's either the taxes or the Axis. This is a wonderful short, and I think the Disney Channel should air it (I wonder why they haven't).
From Sam : I saw the short film. The only part I liked is the scene with Donald and his personality sides. It gives it the old "angel vs devil" situation. The scene with why people should pay taxes is what gave me a hunch of why it was banned. But, all in all, it was a good short propaganda. 3.5 out of 5. (Webmaster's note : This short was never "banned.")
From Baruch Weiss : This cartoon was not meant for entertainment, but I like it historicalwise. I enjoyed the thrifty side with the Scottish Accent. In fact, I'll bet he was the inspiration for Scrooge McDuck.