Wednesday, May 23, 2007

genevieve: American Anti-Communist Cold War Propaganda: Animation of the 1940s & 50s

The Cold War is a term applied in 1947, just after World War II (Revisionism states that it began before the end of World War II) to the tension between the worlds leading superpowers- Capitalist United States (west) and Communist Soviet Union (east)who were previous wartime allies. During the Second World War and in the following years America saw communism as competition, and used propaganda through communication mediums of literature, posters and radio to extend their message. Television had recently been invented (1935) and wasn’t until post World War II that it was seriously considered as a new medium for visual creativity. As television and film were finding their place in developing worlds, propaganda in the form of attractive colourful animations found a place in this medium as there was an increase in demand for more interesting and exciting content during post world war II, and capitalist America used this fact to their advantage with their predominating ‘us’ and ‘them’ attitude towards communism.
The U.S used Anti-communist animation propaganda in an increasingly globalised world as a tactic to dominate post war politics, encouraging regions to support capitalism. During post wartime their views conflicted on how to rebuild the post war world in terms of politics, ideologies, and military, industrial, scientific and technological advancement, creating many proxy wars, which continued until the early 1990s with the downfall of the Soviet Union. Hand drawn atomic age coloured animated cartoons in the form of advertisements were used to portray this propaganda, which gave them a deceivingly appealing nature to not only adults but children alike. Atomic age colours were brighter than the previously used colours in graphic design of greys, browns and quite subdued colours yet not as bright as what was to come in the sixties, yet still consisted of bright pinks, soft greens, blues tended towards cyan and atomic age era reds tended to oranges or pinks.


Reference material: History of Advertising - Animation (1940-1950) - DVD


cathy_campbell said...

very interesting topic gen! images are great..."appealing"ly simple (i'd like to see more...) and your critique of graphic design and colour choices very descriptive!!!

stacy said...

excellent post. great insight