by Ray Keating
March 15, 2021
If you’re going to be in the San Francisco area this spring, then it’s likely worth a stop at the Walt Disney Family Museum to check out a special exhibit “The Walt Disney Studios and World War II.”
The exhibit opens on March 19 (with a special members-only preview on March 18), and will run through the spring. It will be held in the Diane Disney Miller Exhibition Hall, with the general museum hoping to open in April. The exhibit and Museum Store will be open on Thursdays through Sundays.
Regarding “The Walt Disney Studios and World War II,” according to the museum, this will be an immersive “retrospective of The Walt Disney Studios’ extensive contributions to the Allies’ World War II effort” curated by World War II historian Kent Ramsey.
It is further explained on the museum’s site:
When Walt Disney received word that the Disney studio lot in Burbank had been requisitioned as an Army anti-aircraft base after the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941, he and his staff pledged to support the war effort without hesitation—and without profit. This original exhibition illustrates how the The Walt Disney Studios devoted over 90% of its wartime output to producing training, propaganda, entertainment, and public-service films, publicity and print campaigns, and over 1,200 insignia, while also deploying a group of talented artists, including Walt Disney himself, to Latin America on a Goodwill Tour…
During this unique period in animation history, The Walt Disney Studios functioned as a morale-builder for both the civilian public and deployed Allied troops. Walt knew that cartoons would be an ideal medium for communicating with the American people—in an uncomplicated and amusing manner—about war-related issues and anxieties. In addition to the short films and military insignia produced, Disney characters appeared in a variety of home-front initiatives, from advertisements, magazines, and stamp books, to government posters promoting tax payment, food recycling, rationing, war bond sales, and farm production. The exhibition includes 550 examples of these rare historical objects and film clips.
Kirsten Komoroske, executive director of The Walt Disney Family Museum, stated, “This rarely-shared period in the Studios’ history offers insight into the creativity, innovation, and positivity that Walt and his team brought to the military leaders, troops, and civilians at home and abroad.”
In addition, Mike Gabriel designed a new insignia for the exhibition, which features “Donald Duck dressed as a pilot holding onto the wings of a Consolidated PBY Catalina flying boat while soaring over the Golden Gate Bridge. This boat was commonly seen in the San Francisco Bay during World War II.”
As for admissions, the museum reported, “To accommodate our guests safely and to ensure proper distancing, we require all guests—including members—to reserve tickets prior to their visit. Admission will be available on a timed-ticket basis with limited capacities set for each time slot. Visit our Tickets page to purchase or reserve tickets.”
Ray Keating is the editor, publisher and economist for DisneyBizJournal.com, and author of the Pastor Stephen Grant novels and assorted nonfiction books. Have Ray Keating speak your group, business, school, church, or organization. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Keating has two new books out. Vatican Shadows: A Pastor Stephen Grant Novel is the 13ththriller/mystery in the Pastor Stephen Grant series. Get the paperback or Kindle edition at Amazon, or signed books at www.raykeatingonline.com. Past Lives: A Pastor Stephen Grant Short Story is the 14th book in the series. Get the paperback or Kindle edition at Amazon, or signed book at www.raykeatingonline.com.
You also can order his book Behind Enemy Lines: Conservative Communiques from Left-Wing New York from Amazon or signed books at RayKeatingOnline.com. His other recent nonfiction book is Free Trade Rocks! 10 Points on International Trade Everyone Should Know.
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