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Private Snafu – Coming!!

An evening pause: This was the first of a World War II cartoon series directed by Chuck Jones, voiced by Mel Blanc, and written by Theodor Geisel aka Dr. Seuss and designed to with humor raise the work ethic of soldiers and officers.

Hat tip Lazurus Long, who adds that “it was a bit racy and [thus] popular with the servicemen.”

Today our military authorities probably consider our servicemen and women to be too fragile for such stuff. And hopefully this evening pause will air before Google’s YouTube decides it must be banned.

Pioneer cover

From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.

Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.

The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.

He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.

Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at amazon, Barnes & Noble, all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit. And if you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.


  • wayne

    some quick factoids (subject to revision)

    -Disney originally bid on the contract (and demanded to own all licensing rights in perpetuity) but the Chuck Jones group underbid them by 30%.
    -The military approved the initial story-boards but o/w did not exert micro-managed control.
    These were not exhibited on the home-front. (I’m fuzzy on this– one may have been released commercially in 1944/1945.)
    -Making these allowed the animation-studio(s) to be specified as essential war-industries

  • wayne

    I’ve been waiting for this to vanish down the memory-hole

    “What’s this I hear about you whipping slaves?” scene
    “Southern Fried Rabbit” 1953 Warner Bros.

  • Jeff Wright

    I had some “Sad Sad” comics as a kid. I guess the two of them met their ends as dud finders with Mac’s Morons. “Here are some hammers-now go tap those shells.”
    Navy types love to call round divots left behind in old teak decks from the fall of spent casings evidence of the Red Cockaded Deck-Pecker….to watch reporters nod their heads.

  • wayne

    Chuck Jones: Extremes and In Betweens –
    “A Life in Animation”
    2000 (transfer from VHS)–GDvwU8I4g


    (very well put together….)

    “The Rise of Porky, Daffy and Termite Terrace”
    The Merrie History of Looney Tunes (part 2 of 8)

  • Col Beausabre

    My impression was this series was shown along with the cartoons, newsreel and double feature at post theaters. The series was designed to be a fun way of “getting the word out to troops” by reminding them of certain topics (BTW, in my experience, there was in every unit, God love him, a Private SNAFU). Those of us in the TV and later generations have no concept of how important filmed entertainment was in the Thirties and Forties. In my generation the same technique was used in PS (Preventive Service) Magazine, which taught how to properly maintain our equipment, featuring, Connie, Bonnie and Old Sarge , drawn lovingly by the great Will Eisner. My first encounter was as a freshman cadet when I was issued this as well as the more staid manuals in their tan (Army wide) and gray (ROTC – cadet gray, get it….) covers. This was before the era of the “How to Fight” manuals with their camo covers, so I’m truly ancient. Anyway, this was issued on a priority basis to everyone in the US Army when problems developed with the M16A1 in Vietnam

  • Re: “Southern Fried Rabbit”

    I have to say, I LOL’d. Remember seeing this as a kid, and not since. Bug’s first appearance in the clip is heart-attack inducing. And it did make me uncomfortable. It is not a good way to portray people.

    But if you’re going to ‘cancel’ whipping references, then the movie ‘Glory’ (1989 Tristar) would have to have a major scene revision (winner of the NAACP Image Award).

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