I've previously posted an example of a comic book created by a government for the purpose of propaganda or education ("Confidencias de un Senderista"). In a similar vein is the 1955 film Animal Farm, which was the first animated feature film released in the UK. It was produced by the CIA. As reported in the NY Times (Mar 18, 2000):
Many people remember reading George Orwell's "Animal Farm" in high school or college, with its chilling finale in which the farm animals looked back and forth at the tyrannical pigs and the exploitative human farmers but found it "impossible to say which was which."
That ending was altered in the 1955 animated version, which removed the humans, leaving only the nasty pigs. Another example of Hollywood butchering great literature? Yes, but in this case the film's secret producer was the Central Intelligence Agency.
The C.I.A., it seems, was worried that the public might be too influenced by Orwell's pox-on-both-their-houses critique of the capitalist humans and Communist pigs. So after his death in 1950, agents were dispatched (by none other than E. Howard Hunt, later of Watergate fame) to buy the film rights to "Animal Farm" from his widow to make its message more overtly anti-Communist.
With so many USians threatening to move to Canada if the November Presidential election goes one way or another, I thought it would be handy to screen this comical but accurate cartoon to get such folks ready for their new citizenship.
I have no idea of the provenance of this half-hour compilation. Shown at cinemas before the main feature? Whatever the case, it has everything. Cornball music, girly cheesecake, animated cartoon, stop-motion cartoon, narration by a chimp. Also, the highly disturbing image reproduced below. Somehow I feel it relates to the "horse fondling" theme of yesterday.
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Alex is the creator and curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the author of various weird, non-fiction books such as Elephants on Acid.
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