Dennis Nyback presents: The Dark Side of Dr. Seuss

"Thank God for film archivist Dennis Nyback. If not for his encyclopedic knowledge of rare films and his tenacity for acquiring them, we would never have the privilege to view some astounding works of cinema." Kim Morgan

Dark Side of Seuss

This could be called “What did you do in the war, Doc?”   For the second half of his long career Ted Geisel (Dr. Seuss) wrote hugely popular children’s books.  Before that he wrote for humor magazines and made money in advertising.   For a brief time in the 1940s he was in the US Army making gung ho propaganda and army training films.  Is there a correlation between attracting young readers and influencing the minds of adults?   With this program you can examine Dr. Seuss’ adult oriented work and make your own decision.


Program List

Coming Snafu (c 1943) A cartoon for soldiers announcing the new character Private Snafu created by Dr. Seuss and animated by Warner Brothers.

Fear (c1943) The first Snafu cartoon explaining how fear works and how to not let it over come a soldier.

Target Snafu (c 1944) Snafu  is lax in guarding against mosquitos, the carriers of malaria.  He is targeted by a squadron of mosquitos using military tactics.

Spies! (c1944) Snafu doesn’t watch his mouth.  He is seduced by a sexy spy and spills the beans about his troop ship’s movements.  He ends up in Hell.

The Goldbrick (c1943) Snafu is a malingerer.  He shirks his duty.  He pays the consequences.

Our Job in Japan (1945) Written and directed by Dr. Seuss.  A training film for soldiers who would occupy Japan after the war.

Rumors (c1944) The most Seuss like of all the Snafus.   A rumor spreads through an army base.   Snafu is to blame.  He goes insane.

Booby Traps (c1943) A very adult Snafu.   He encounters many booby traps but the literal one is the best:  A bomb hidden in a woman’s brassiere.

The Home Front (c1943) Snafu is freezing his nuts (see how this is addressed) in Alaska.  He dreams of the soft life he is missing in the states.

Your Job in Germany 1945 Written by Dr. Seuss and Directed by Frank Capra.   The greatest and most horrific propaganda film ever made in the land of the free.