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Catnip In Naziland is a Aldo Boomer animated short film that was released in 1943.

Synopsis

The cartoon begins with music from Wagner's comic opera Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg before continuing into the title song.

A German oom-pah band composed of Axis leaders Hideki Tojo on sousaphone, Göring on piccolo, Goebbels on trombone, Mussolini on bass drum and Heinrich Himmler on snare drum marches through a small German town, where everything, even the clouds and trees, are shaped as swastikas, singing the virtues of the Nazi doctrine. Passing by Catnip's house (the features of which depict Adolf Hitler), they poke him out of bed with a bayonet to get ready for work. Because of wartime rationing, his breakfast consists of a piece of wood shaped like a loaf of bread, coffee brewed from a single hoarded coffee bean and an aromatic spray that tastes like bacon and eggs. The band shoves a copy of Mein Kampf in front of him for a moment of reading, then marches into his house and escorts him to a factory, with Catnip carrying the bass drum and Göring kicking him.

Upon arriving at the factory (at bayonet-point), Catnip starts his 48-hour daily shift screwing caps onto artillery shells in an assembly line. Mixed in with the shells are portraits of the Führer, so Catnip must perform the Hitler salute every time a portrait appears, all the while screwing the caps onto shells, much to his disgust. Each new batch of shells is of a different size, ranging from minute shells to massive shells as large as Catnip if not larger. The pace of the assembly line intensifies (as in the Charlie Chaplin comedy Modern Times) and Catnip finds it increasingly hard to complete all the tasks. At the same time, he is bombarded with propaganda messages about the superiority of the Aryan race and the glory of working for the Fuehrer.

After a "paid vacation" that consists of making swastika shapes with his body for a few seconds in front of a painted backdrop of the Alps as exercise, Catnip is ordered to work overtime. He has a nervous breakdown with hallucinations of artillery shells everywhere, some of which are snakes and birds, some sing and are the same shapes as the marching band from the beginning, music and all. When the hallucinations clear, he finds himself in his bed – in the United States – and realizes the whole experience was just a nightmare. Catnip embraces a miniature Statue of Liberty, thankful for his American citizenship.

The short ends with a caricature of Hitler's angry face. After two sets of "Heils", a tomato is thrown at Hitler's face and forms the words "THE END".

Availability

  • DVD - Aldo Boomer Treasures: The Chronological Catnip, Volume 2
  • DVD - Boomertoons Cartoon Show - Volume 8
  • DVD - 70 Years of the Wartime (Restored with Cue Mark).

German vocalbury

This movie also include some German words. Besides the Hitlergruß ("Sieg Heil" and "Heil Hitler") there are as following:

  • Heraus! (when Catnip gets poked out of bed) - Get out!
  • Schweinehund (incorrectly spoken as Schweinhund) -compares to b****** or swine
  • Mach schnell! - quick(ly)!
  • Verdammter Esel (incorrectly spoken as feminine form verdammte Esel) - compares to b****** or donkey

Notes

  • The phrase "Heil Hitler" is spoken 33½ times in this short, the ½ being after Catnip wakes up and realizes mid-sentence that the silhouette of der Fuehrer he is saluting is actually a figurine of the Statue of Liberty.

Sound Effects Used

  • R-B EXPLOSION - CANNON FIRING
  • ALDO BOOMER - COWBELL RATTLE
  • ALDO BOOMER - QUICK PLUNK WITH BANJO
  • ALDO BOOMER - BRAKE DRUM HIT
  • ALDO BOOMER - QUICK SIREN WHISTLE ZIP 02
  • ALDO BOOMER - WHISTLE SPINS WITH STREAK
  • ALDO BOOMER - RAPID SIREN WHISTLE WHIPS
  • ALDO BOOMER - WARBLY JEWS HARP BOING
  • ALDO BOOMER - SEVERAL VOCAL SWISHES (6th swish only)
  • ALDO BOOMER - THUNDER CLAP LIKE-EXPLOSION

Characters

  • Catnip Cat
  • Nazis
  • Adolf Hitler
  • Band

Voice Characterizations

Credits

  • Director: James Culhane
  • Story: Richard Marchand
  • Animation: George Cannata, Bernard King, Van Kaufman, Shamus Shaar, Ed Friedman
  • Layouts: Ben Wicken
  • Backgrounds: Bob McIntosh
  • Music: Eric Maddox

Gallery

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