Disney’s “The Unseen Enemy”

Our friend J.J. Sedelmaier sent us these scans (click thumbnails at left and below to enlarge) from a 1945 book, Movie Lot To Beachhead, by Editors of Look Magazine (which has a spread on Private Snafu in Booby Traps on pages 56 and 57). J.J. sent the pages promoting the work Disney was doing for the Office of the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs, in particular the film, The Unseen Enemy (1945 – aka What Is Disease?). This film was part of a series of simple, but very effective, educational films produced during the war as part of the studios Good Neighbor Program – which you can read about more in-depth in J.B. Kaufman’s highly recommended, South of the Border With Disney. The pages are intertesting, but it gives me an excuse to post the rarely seen film itself (above), which boasts simplistic graphics, contemporary with UPA techniques, conveying an important lesson on disease prevention with limited animation.

See the rest of the scans after the jump:


  • http://thedirtonmyneighbortotoro.blogspot.com/ Ju-osh

    Thanks for posting this. It blends two of my lifelong obsessions — early Disney animation & out of control germaphobia — into one pleasing package.

    • http://artlung.com/ Joe Crawford

      Emphasizing clean safe drinking water is not exactly the same as germaphobia. Cholera in Haiti, for example, is a very real expression of what happens when drinking water is not scrutinized for safety.

  • Michel Van

    a wunderfull piece of Animation
    and in so good condition and still up to date !

  • dbenson

    This is in the “On the Front Lines” Disney Treasures tin, which is still to be found fairly cheap. The set includes several others, including the one about vaccines turning little red blood cells into a germ-killing army — a film they were still showing in the early 1960′s, when I was a mere lad.