More on Unca Walt

Gilbert Milburn gilbert at
Wed Jul 21 19:13:25 CEST 1993


     Here's another post I've been meaning to reply to...  

> Date: Thu, 1 Jul 1993 17:50:46 -0500 (CDT)
> From: Torsten Wesley Adair <torsten at>
> Subject: Re: Unca Walt... We hardly knew you!..

> Sorry to disappoint you, Gilbert, but Walt Disney was an FBI
> informant, supplying information to Washington about possible
> Communists.  Working conditions were terrible enough at Walt
> Disney Studios that many animators and employees went on
> strike. 

     I have heard something about Walt's involvement in the FBI
trials.  Today it seems unethical and vicious to toss people to
the Commie-hunters, but at the time it seemed like patriotism to
many more Americans than just Walt Disney.     

     Yes, I knew about the Disney Studios' strike of 1941 and I'm
sure that the War Effort contributed to the unpleasant working
conditions!  The Disney workers who did stick it out, were busy
working on various animated-shorts.  For civilians they had films
geared towards entertainment, propaganda and patriotism.  While
the other films where provided as both a diversion as well as
training proposes to the Armed Forces.  Yet, this book labels
Disney as a "Nazi sympathizer" -- somehow I don't buy it!!  

     According to one review I read Eliot even finds in Disney a
"dark aspect to his relationship with Mickey...a narcissistic
jealousy between Walt and his vastly more popular animated
reflection."  When it comes to psychology, Eliot is a student of
the Dark Side.
> I would like to recommend that you check out this book from a
> library, read it, then draw your own conclusions.  Most of the
> reviews I have seen have been favorable, so the research must
> be fairly solid.  Much of the FBI information was from Freedom
> of Information Act requests, which are edited photocopies of
> government files.

     I might look at it in a library (if I run across it!)...
nevertheless, I definitely won't be checking it out.  Now,
Torsten let me also offer you a small suggestion on something you
should read.  In Charles Solomon's respected 1989 reference work,
The History of Animation, notes that Disney was "a human
Rorschach test: everyone...saw something different in him."   

That's all for now

Gil Milburn <gilbert at>


More information about the DCML mailing list