Disney’s Story of Menstruation

After posts about Disney’s forays into VD prevention and gonorrhea drugs, I’d be remiss to not post Disney’s 1946 film THE STORY OF MENSTRUATION. The film is available on YouTube, something that was kindly pointed out on We-Make-Money-Not-Art.com. While not exactly a classic piece of animation, its kitsch value is unsurpassed.

UPDATE: Disney historian Jim Korkis wrote in with some interesting info about STORY OF MENSTRUATION. Here’s what he says:

Disney’s “The Story of Menstruation” was originally delivered to the International Cellu-Cotton Company on October 18, 1946. It has been estimated that the film has been seen by approximately ninety-three million American women. Neither sexuality nor reproduction is mentioned in this influential film, and an emphasis on sanitation makes it a more a hygienic crisis rather than a maturational event.

In fact the entire film is very quiet, subtle, formal and clinical. “Menstruation is just one routine step in a normal and natural cycle that is going on continuously in the body,” soothes the narrator while she reminds us that there is an accompanying free book available in case the information supplied by this film is so overwhelming that a viewer isn’t able to retain it all.

That booklet was entitled “Very Personally Yours” and was filled with promotional material for Kotex brand feminine products and included Disney artwork from this educational short. The 1947 edition has a cover that features a somewhat sophisticated female hand holding an engraved card that says “Very Personally Yours” with no hint what the contents might be. My copy (thanks to eBay) is approximately 5 by 7 inches, small enough to slip into a purse, with twenty pages of text. In the side margins are drawings from the film but interestingly, there is no Disney copyright in evidence anywhere in the book. The final text pages are very directly aimed at promoting a variety of Kotex products for feminine hygiene. Since the Disney film was run for at least two decades after its creation, the booklet was updated over the years and I don’t know how much of the Disney artwork remained in later editions.