Mar 12, 2011

Momotaro no Umiwashi

"Momotaro no Umiwashi" is Japanese for Momotaro's Sea Eagles. This film was created in 1942 as a propaganda film. It is rather disturbing because of the appearance of the pilots of the Japanese planes. they seem like they could be stuffed animals and yet they are climbing into fighter planes to wreak havoc. This film was not quite long enough to be called a feature film. However, it's sequel, Momotarō Umi no Shinpei is thought to be the first Japanese full length animated film. It is not the first Asian full length animated film. That was Princess Iron Fan, a Chinese production. Momotaro no Umiwashi was a film involving a character from Japanese folklore, Peach Boy and several creatures representing different races with the same goal: to attack Pearl Harbor. The film references actual footage of the Pearl Harbor attack. The fact that "cute" little creatures were used in the place of human pilots shows that this film was created to tell children the story of the attack. It is interesting to note that the film was produced with the Japanese Naval Ministry without regard to the protection of military secrets. Despite this, the Imperial Navy endorsed the film.

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