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The Ducktators- Banned Looney Tunes Cartoon from 1942

Ian Smith

The Ducktators is a 1942 Wartime Cartoon released by Warner Brothers and directed by Norm McCabe, who would later direct Tokio Jokio (1943) too. It’s notable for being a satirical allegory forWorld War II depicting Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini and Hirohito (or Hideki Tojo) as ducks and geese who take over a farm, while a peace dove all lets it happen. Near the end he finally makes aHeel-Face Turn and defeats them. The short ends with a propaganda message to buy more war bonds and join the army.Since the end of World War II it has seldom been seen in theatres or on TV due to Values Dissonance (very racial jokes at the expense of Japanese people) and it being an Unintentional Period Piece. As a result it has fallen into Public Domain. It’s mostly interesting for historians or people interested in war time cartoons.

The cartoon takes place on a farm, beginning with a few ducks, geese and chickens being shown. After a brief few moments, two ducks (who are expecting a duckling) go over to their unusually black-colored egg as it starts to hatch. Once the egg has hatched, a duckling with an Adolf Hitler appearance emerges and yells “Sieg Heil!” while giving the Nazi salute.

So take a look at the below fascinating barnyard analogy of World War II.

Video found at: Best Film Archive

The original duckling to hatch from the egg had a mustache and a Nazi emblem throughout the cartoon, indicating that the duck symbolized Adolf Hitler. The goose who helped the duck had an open Italian accent, and the chick at the end of one of his speeches could be heard yelling “Duce!” multiple times, indicating that this goose is Benito Mussolini. The third who was also a duck was using the flag of the Empire of Japan, and openly singing “The Japanese Sandman”. The caricature is a reference to Japan in gestalt, but can be interpreted as referring specifically to either Hideki Tojo or Hirohito.

The final message of the cartoon states to the U.S. audience that if they wish to defeat the Axis Powers and bring peace to the world once again, all they have to do to ensure the country’s victory is to buy United States Savings Bonds and Stamps.

The Ducktators was banned after WW II because propaganda was no longer needed.

The ending where the dove is sitting with his kids and points out that his enemies have been defeated (and are now moose-heads above the fireplace), followed by a notice to buy war bonds, has been rarely seen since the short was sold to Sunset Productions in the 1950s and syndicated through them (as Guild Films). As the cartoon is in the public domain, this edited version has frequently been found on VHS and DVD home video collections. However, on the Looney Tunes Golden Collection: Volume 6 DVD set and the World War II cartoons special on the Cartoon Network show ToonHeads, the full ending is shown uncut and uncensored.