Dr. Seuss’s illustrated children’s books are very distinctive and memorable. In this presentation we will look at a different phase of his career, one that took place during the years of 1941 to 1943, where the cartoons of Dr. Seuss dealt not with the issues of a children’s story, but that of the issue of WWII. In fact, illustrating an important message in support of going to war when America was still battling a powerful isolationist viewpoint.
Following the series we will watch a film and get to know Private Snafu, a short, bald, motor-mouthed Brooklynite with a habit of doing exactly the wrong thing, such as leaking classified information and accidentally blowing himself up. He is the worst soldier of WWII, an animated cartoon character that was used to teach recruits what they should not do in an extremely entertaining, sometimes very risqué cartoon short. These cartoons were created by some of the best entertainment minds of the day; Frank Capra, Chuck Jones, Frits Freleng, Mel Blanc and one of the main contributors, Theodor Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss. Private Snafu got his name from the often-used unofficial military term used by the men as “Situation Normal…All Fouled Up." Of course, depending on the audience the word fouled was replaced by something else.