Anti-American Japanese Cartoon Films During WW2

The first Japanese animated cartoon films were made as propaganda films by Mitsuyo Seo and showed "Peach Boy" Japan's favourite folklore character. Momotaro's Sea Eagles was made in 1942. The sequel Momotaro's Divine Sea Warriors was released in 1945. Americans and British were called "The White Barbarians" by the Japanese.
Momotaro's Sea Eagles

Anti american Japanese cartoon film  ww2

The Plot: Featuring the "Peach Boy" character of Japanese folklore, this film was aimed at children, telling the story of a naval unit consisting of the human Momotarō and several animal species representing the Far Eastern races fighting together for a common goal. In a dramatization of the attack on Pearl Harbor, this force attacks the demons at the island of Onigashima (representing the Americans and British demonized in Japanese propaganda), and the film also utilizes actual footage of the Pearl Harbor attack.

Momotaro's Divine Sea Warriors

In April 1945 - in the midst of a bloody battle of Okinawa. No one doubted that the next in line for the invading Americans was the Japanese archipelago.  In the battle with the "whites barbarians" (as the Japanese call the Americans) came the film Momotaro's Divine Sea Warriors with Momotaro (Peach Boy) - one of the most popular fairy tale characters in Japan. Of course, the Peach Boy and his army easily explain that the "white-skinned barbarians" are not in the right.

Momotarō: Umi no Shinpei (桃太郎 海の神兵, lit. Momotaro's Gods-Blessed Sea Warriors or Momotaro, Sacred Sailors) was the first Japanese feature-length animated film. It was directed by Mitsuyo Seo, who was ordered to make a propaganda film for the war by the Japanese Naval Ministry. Shochiku Moving Picture Laboratory shot the 74-minute film in 1944 and screened it on April 12, 1945. It is a sequel to Momotarō no Umiwashi, a 37-minute film released in 1943 by the same director. It is black and white. In English, the film is known as Momotaro's Divine Sea Warriors.

The Plot: After completing naval training, a bear cub, a monkey, a pheasant, and a puppy say goodbye to their families. Like the prior film, the movie features the "Peach Boy" character of Japanese folklore. The film is about the surprise maneuver on the Dutch East Indies island of Celebes (now Sulawesi), depicting parachute troops' actions. The monkey, puppy and bear cub are the ones that become parachute jumpers while the pheasant becomes a pilot. The whole movie also depicts the Japanese "liberation of Asia", as proclaimed by the Government at the time.

The Naval Ministry previously showed Seo Fantasia, a 1940 Disney film. Inspired by this, Seo tried to give dreams to children, as well as to instill the hope for peace, just as he did in the prequel movie, Momotaro's Sea Eagles.

For a long time, the film was presumed to have been confiscated and burnt by the American occupation. However, a negative copy of the film was found in Shochiku's Ofuna warehouse in 1983 and was re-released in 1984. A reproduced movie was later screened and the VHS package is now available in Japan.

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