D Day and Mickey Mouse
It has always been widely rumored that “Mickey Mouse” was the code name for the D-Day invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944. Although, supporting documentation has never been found.
However, supporting documentation has been found to support that “Mickey Mouse” was the password to enter the naval briefings for meetings in the planning for the Allied invasions for D-Day.
Regardless of how Mickey Mouse was used, the Disney Company participated in the war effort in a variety of ways. Disney promoted national unity in victory over the Axis powers. Disney believed that film should have an integral role in molding the public opinion of the war efforts.
The first film produced by Disney in the US in WWII was The New Spirit. Secretary of Treasury Henry Morgenthau, Jr. meet with Walt Disney on December 17, 1941 to discuss the production of a short animation that would explain to the audience the importance of paying taxes on time. Donald was chosen to be the protagonist.
Other films produced included instructional films used by the military to teach specialized training, and in military factories to instruct workers on skills such as the methods of flush riveting. Additionally, Disney released four “psychological” animations, such as the 1943 film Education for Death, which became one of the most popular Disney films produced during this time period. Based on the book by Gregor Ziemer, this film took more of a psychological look at the development of a young German into a Nazi party member.
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