Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Der Fuehrer's Face

Apropos of nothing, except that I use to sing it with great glee as a child, even though WWII was seven years past before I was even born. I've had the Spike Jones's song - which uses more scatalogical sound effects than the above Disney cartoon - running through my head since posting the Yankee Doodler clip below, so I finally went to YouTube to find it. Pity I couldn't find the band doing it, and the image quality is so poor, but that may be what's keeping the Mouse from sending a takedown order. On the other hand, if it's gone, I guess the lawyers woke up. For a giggle, look to the right, and various misspellings of "Fuehrer."

Disney, as you probably know, did a number of propaganda shorts during WWII, collected in the Treasure Set, "On the Front Lines." which includes, "Der Fuehrer's Face." And, again, apropos of nothing, "Yankee Doodler" reminds me of a Kay Kyser number. Kyser too was, yes, way before my time, but his entire movie oeuvre had apparently been bought by Station WSCH in Portland, Maine, and were viewed religiously on Sunday afternoons by the Young Fred. I was probably one of the few 10-year-olds in the 1960s that knew what the Kollege of Musical Knowledge was.

I think I'm obsessing a bit about Yankee Doodler because of the framing shots of a GI before and after Frawley bursts into song. On the one hand, the piece looks a typical propaganda short to sell bonds probably running with a cartoon and a news reel before the feature. On the other hand, those framing pieces keep me wondering if it's a clip from a movie. A quick search in the IMDB indicates that a morale film specifically for Texas Aggies fighting overseas, with the porny-sounding title, "We've Never Been Licked" may be where "The Yankee Doodler" originated.

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