Prewar Japanese Cartoons

Before Anime there was:

Wartime Japanese Cartoon and no this is not Mickey Mouse

Prewar and during the war, Japanese cartoons looked very much like there American Disney counterparts.  In this 1933,  UGOKIE-KO-RI-NO-TATEHIKI(1933), and this 1943, Kumo to Chirippu,  cartoon it is easy to see Disney’s influence.  It wasn’t until the postwar when Japan really developed their own style, what we call anime.  Of course you tell its Japanese with the music, language, and content, but the art looks just like pre war Disney.  In Kumo to Churippu, or the Spider and the Tulip in English, the spider has the characters (drawn in Disney as well at this time) the exaggerated features of a black person, but I doubt the Japanese had really seen any at this point and just wanted to add those features to the spider.   These features show up later in anime, in which case at least one mangaka (Osamu Tezuka) has apologized for being ignorant of people in this way.

Here’s Disney in 1933 still in black and white.  By 1943 Disney was in color although some were still in black and white and was largely focus on war as was Japan.  Disney of course was portraying Japanese and Germans in a rather racist manner because it was during the war and propaganda’s has to happen.



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