Thursday, August 04, 2022

Walt Disney Goes to War

Evan and Sam have devoted themselves to flying planes, getting licenses, becoming pilots, etc. So it was a no-brainer taking them to the Museum of Flight.

There was a fun temporary exhibit called the Walt Disney Studios and World War II.

"The Walt Disney Studios and World War II 
From military insignia and auxiliary art to instructional media for the Armed Forces, animated short films with favorite Disney characters to government propaganda films, The Walt Disney Studios actively contributed to the war effort. With significant resources at its disposal, the Studios devoted a great wealth of talent in animation and storytelling, as well as the boundless enthusiasm and patriotic sentiment of its leader, Walt Disney. This exhibition explores the many of ways in which Walt and his team at the Studios educated and entertained a wide variety of audiences in support o the United States and its allies during World War 11. 
By November 1941, Adolf Hitler's armies occupied most of western Europe while Japan occupied a large portion of territories across Asia and the Pacific. During the war, distribution of American films to foreign countries was cut off, greatly impacting The Walt Disney Studios. Grappling with multiple box office losses after the initial runaway success of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1937, the Studios released one of its shortest feature films, Dumbo, in October 1941. Dumbo's innocent, playful personality won hearts across the nation, and the elephant was scheduled to be featured on the December 29 cover of Time magazine as "Mammal of the Year." But the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7 prevented this from happening, with the magazine instead choosing to feature far more serious subjects in their subsequent issues, including Admiral Husband E. Kimmel, commander-in-chief of the naval fleet at Pearl Harbor, on December 15. 
Like most Americans, Walt was at home that Sunday morning when he heard via radio that Pearl Harbor had been attacked. The Studios manager called and said, "Walt, the Army is moving in on us...they came up and said they wanted to move in." The Studios manager told the Army that he would have to call Walt, and they responded, "Call him, but we're moving in anyway." The United States, no longer on the sidelines, felt vulnerable, particularly on the West Coast, given its proximity to the site of the Pearl Harbor attack. There was no room for business as usual."

One of my favorite parts were the military unit insignias that Disney's team designed.

"The Flying Oval Office

The first presidential jet plane, a specially built Boeing 707-120, is known as SAM (Special Air Missions) 970. This aircraft, as well as any other Air Force aircraft, carried the call sign Air Force One when the president was aboard. Delivered in 1959 to replace Eisenhower's Super Constellation, the high-speed jet transport is a flying Oval Office with a modified interior and sophisticated communication equipment.

Jet technology gave a president the opportunity to meet face-to-face with world leaders easily. SAM 970 has carried presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon, as well as VIPs such as Nikita Khrushchev and Henry Kissinger.

In 1962, SAM 970 was replaced by a newer Boeing VC-137C. But SAM 970 remained in the presidential fleet, ferrying VIPs and the vice-president, until June of 1996."

We blew Sam and Evan's minds up by taking them to one of our favorite restaurants, Din Tai Fung, for some Taiwanese dumplings.

We also took them to Salt & Straw for some ice cream. They did not disappoint our visitors and had a lot of fun weird stuff going on such as Culinary Perfume.

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