Reason and Emotion

A Wartime Short

Release Date : August 27, 1943

Running Time : 7:55


A subtle propaganda film features the two halves of a man's (and woman's) mind; the rational half and the emotional half, as they each try to gain control over a person's actions.


John Doakes
Miss Reason
Miss Emotion


Bill Roberts
Ward Kimball
Ollie Johnson


Nominated for an Academy Award (Short Subjects - Cartoons)

Inside Jokes

The caveman type "Emotion" character was drawn as a caricature of animator Ward Kimball.

Cut Scenes

References to World War 2 have been cut out, including a scene with "Reason" and "Emotion" in a Nazi concentration camp.


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 Jerry Edwards : This World War II propaganda short under the disguise of entertainment studies the conflict in the mind between Reason, shown to be sensible, and Emotion - shown to be primitive and out of control. The short makes the point that reason must be used to keep emotions under control. In addition to everyday decisions, such as staying on a diet - how to deal with the rumors of the war are included, such as "we've been invaded," "all our food is being sent to Europe and we'll starve," and "we won't survive if we can't get to work without tires and gasoline."

An excellent caricature of Hitler is shown, using fear, sympathy, pride, and hate to turn the Emotion of the Germans against their Reason. A very effective scene shows Emotion enslaving Reason in a concentration camp.

The ending shows Reason and Emotion working together as co-pilots flying a war plane to defeat the enemy.

The uncensored version has probably not been seen by most people. A censored version with all war related items deleted, narrated by Ludwig Von Drake, was part of the Disney TV show "Man Is His Own Worst Enemy" (10/21/62), later released on video as "Ducking Disaster With Donald Duck."

This short is effective as propaganda of that time, but contains little entertainment value, even when redone with Ludwig Von Drake.

From Ryan : This is one of my favorite Disney cartoons of all time. I remember seeing the censored version on a "Walt Disney Presents" episode back in the late 80's/early 90's. Since I was a little kid back then, I didn't understand the humor in it. When I saw this short recently, I loved it. One part I like is where Reason (portrayed as an egghead) is "driving" the human mind of the male with Emotion (portrayed as a caveman)in the passenger seat. Emotion sees a woman and urges the man to go up to her and put the moves on her, but Reason urges him to "maintain proper respect for womanhood." Unfortunately, for the man, Emotion overpowers Reason. The result of this act is a slap in the face for the man. Meanwhile, in the woman's mind, there are female versions of Reason (portrayed as a female egghead) and Emotion (portrayed as a whiney teenager). Emotion urges the woman to go to the local restaurant and eat a bunch of high-calorie foods like ice cream and french fries. Reason, however, who reminds the woman that she is on a diet, suggests something light like tea and toast. Like the man, Emotion overpowers Reason in the woman. The result of this is a rather large figure.
From Jennifer Wilson : I loved this short when I was a kid. Please put in on video or a special DVD. I would buy it in an instant. The emotion characters crack me up!
From Baruch Weiss : This cartoon was pretty good. I have seen it countless times on the video Ducking Disaster not realizing that all World War 2 situations have been cut out of the cartoon. My favorite part was when the girl kept arguing about what to eat and trouble ensues.