THUNDERBEAN THURSDAY
May 23, 2013 posted by Steve Stanchfield

“GI Bill Of Rights” (1946)

GI_Bill550

This week’s entry is GI Bill of Rights, originally part of the ‘Few Quick Facts’ series. This is one of two animated shorts/ segments that continued to elude me while gathering materials for both the Private Snafu set and More Cartoons for Victory. It appeared in the Army/Navy Screen Magazine, episode 60 (1946). The story and storyboards were created at the First Motion Picture Unit, with production duties handled by Walt Disney Productions.

At the National Archives, the 16mm reference materials were missing this particular section. The 35mm neg was otherwise unavailable for transfer, so until more recently I was unable to see if the material at the National Archives actually did contain the film. Happily, a reference copy from 35mm shot off a flatbed was available on this last visit, so here it is:

That’s Robert C. Bruce you hear as the narrator. One more known completed ‘Few Quick Facts’ remains elusive. Venereal Disease, also produced by Disney, did not appear as a part of the Army/Navy Screen Magazine, but rather was included as a special ‘bulletin’ to be shown with the weekly film night. Several other animated shorts (including Voting for GIs) were distributed this way. The National Archives does not have a negative or any material on this particular short; perhaps Disney does in some form, and perhaps it will show up at some point in the future as well.

GI Bill of Rights is an interesting little short, though the animation is fairly limited. You can see from some of the rare storyboards included here (below, courtesy of researcher extraordinaire David Gerstein, click thumbnails to enlarge) that the Disney studio didn’t stray far from the original designs and layouts indicated in the boards.

GI_Bill1 GI_Bill2

5 Comments

  • Not much difference here between a filmstrip and a motion picture, except a few dissolves. Disney didn’t put much into these Army Navy shorts, just compare them with Leon’s efforts! He probably had the same budgets, maybe less than WDP, but delivered motion pictures with real animation!
    Thanks, Leon!

    • I’m inclined to cut Disney just a bit of slack. After all, they had far more irons in the fire than Leon did, not to mention there’s a lot more information to be imparted here rather than simply “Don’t blab secret information” or “Keep your rifle clean.”

  • Wow! Great find, Steve!

  • Thanks Steve; another treasure unearthed. Interesting how the Disney unit so faithfully followed the Snafu character model.

  • I wonder what if Walt Disney successfully got the highest bid for Private Snafu? Would Bill Peet and Ward Kimball be involved in the cartoons? Would Snafu be voiced by Pinto Colvig, Clarence Nash, or James MacDonald?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>