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.
You can watch the entire film streaming for free (with ads) over at Hulu
[Click to enlarge]
No chipmunks, crickets, rabbits, or fat, slack-jawed, beanie-wearing yokels were actually diced and cooked for these recipes.
Original ad here.
The Romance of Transportation in Canada by Colin Low, National Film Board of Canada
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.