The Spirit of '43, 1943.
Directed by Jack King.
Produced by Walt Disney.
In a rare example of public domain content from the legendary animation house, The Spirit of '43 is a World War II propaganda film featuring the classic Walt Disney character Donald Duck. A sequel to an earlier Disney production, The New Spirit (1942), the short was financed by the American government (hence its copyright free status) and designed as a propaganda tool to urge the public to pay their taxes for the war effort, complete with the slogan "taxes to bury the Axis".
Donald stars as your average American joe torn between two opposing sides of his personality - a 'thrifty' duck (represented by a Scotsman, and surely the inspiration for Scrooge McDuck), who urges Donald to be careful with his money and pay his taxes, and a 'spendthrifty' suit-wearing evil duck who wants Donald to blow his wages in the saloon. The two engage in a tug of war over Donald and each fall backward; the evil duck creashing through Swastika-shaped saloon doors while the Scottish duck falls against a brick wall, revealing Old Glory itself and leading to a montage of patriotic wartime imagery.
The Spirit of '43 proved very successful in its objective of increasing tax contributions from the American public, and remains to this day an entertaining and historically important piece of animation.
Embed courtesy of Internet Archive.
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