Der Fuehrer's Face

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So ve "Heil! Heil!" right in Der Fuehrer's Face!


"Der Fuehrer's Face" is a 1943 animated cartoon by the Walt Disney Studios, starring Donald Duck. It was directed by Jack Kinney and released on January 1, 1943, as an anti-Nazi propaganda movie for the American war effort.

The short depicts Donald as a oppressed citizen of "Nutzi Land", The Theme Park Version of war-time Germany where almost everything is shaped like a swastika or an allusion to Hitler. He soon finds himself forced to work 48 hours every day to produce shells for the Fuehrer's war effort. Eventually he goes mad from stress, only to wake up home in America, relieved that his previous experience was All Just a Dream.

The film won the 1943 Academy Award for Animated Short Film, and was the only Donald Duck cartoon to win an Oscar. In 1994, it was voted #22 of "The 50 Greatest Cartoons" of all time by members of the animation field.


Tropes used in Der Fuehrer's Face include:
  • All Just a Dream
  • Black Market Produce: As a citizen of Nazi Germany, Donald Duck's breakfast consists of wooden bread, aroma of bacon and eggs, and coffee from a single bean he keeps locked in a safe.
  • Blowing a Raspberry: Does this after each "HEIL!"
  • Camp Gay: Just watch the Hermann-Göring-clone swing his hips when he sings about Nazi "super-duper Supermen!" (And those eyelashes...)
  • Curse Cut Short: Part of the song goes, "Ven der Fuehrer yells, 'I gotta have more shells!'/Ve 'Heil! Heil!' For him, ve make more shells./If one leetle shell should blow him right to-- *CLANG!* (Donald bumps into a much bigger bomb)/Ve 'Heil! Heil!' And vouldn't that be svell?"
  • Driven to Madness: Donald, toward the end due to working overtime, which leads to the Disney Acid Sequence.
  • Facial Profiling: Far more offensive than the Nazi imagery (but garnering far less attention these days) is the incredibly racist caricature of the then-Japanese Emperor, Hirohito. This was standard in wartime cartoons, of course.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: At one point, an exasperated Donald Duck says, "Hell" instead of "Heil."
  • Hypocritical Humor: When the Japanese sousaphone player clarifies the question, "Is ve not the Supermen?" with an "Ahryan, pure-a Supamen?"
    • Hitler had styled the Japanese 'honorary Aryans'.
  • I Ate What?: Germany's so poor that instead of bacon, eggs and toast for breakfast, Donald has to sustain himself with a perfume scented like bacon & eggs, and cutting a slice of bread - so stale it requires a saw - to chew on. On the other side of the spectrum, he has a single coffee bean to flavor his water with, but he doesn't get a chance to drink it in the cartoon.
    • Donald having to saw the bread is actually a reference to the fact that back then sawdust was put into the bread to save flour.
  • Improvised Clothes: Donald's Nazi uniform is made of paper.
  • No Swastikas: Averted. See Sigil Spam below
  • Poirot Speak: "Into the clothes get!"
  • Refuge in Audacity
  • Ring Ring CRUNCH
  • Sigil Spam: Pretty much everything in this cartoon has a picture of Hitler or a swastika on it, or is shaped as a swastika. This includes fire hydrants, telephone poles, one soldier's underwear, and even clouds.
  • Take That, Hitler!
  • Those Wacky Nazis
  • User Operation Prohibit Flag: In an attempt to nip misunderstandings in the bud, The Disney Wartime Cartoon DVD features non-skippable, non-fast-forwardable commentaries by Leonard Maltin, who explains the satirical nature of the cartoon.
  • "The Villain Sucks" Song
  • Wartime Cartoon
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: The "vacation with pay" is exercising in the factory to a scenic backdrop.