Walt Disney Studios and WWII Exhibition Opens at Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum

Spectacular Walt Disney Studios and WII exhibition opens at historic Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum in June 2024During World War II, America's Greatest Generation did its part for the war effort – including Walt Disney and the studio bearing his name.

During World War II, the esteemed generation of Americans, often dubbed the Greatest Generation, wholeheartedly contributed to the war efforts, a feat that included the involvement of Walt Disney and his eponymous studio. In the aftermath of the Pearl Harbor attack on December 7, 1941, Walt Disney swiftly mobilized nearly his entire studio to aid the war endeavors. Disney’s contributions spanned a wide spectrum, from crafting over 1,200 insignias for the Armed Forces and affiliated groups to producing animated short films featuring beloved Disney characters. Additionally, the studio ventured into creating instructional materials, government educational films, posters, and publications. Such was the significance of Disney’s wartime output that it was safeguarded by troops around the clock, attesting to its vital role in bolstering national morale.

The exhibit features more than 550 artifacts from The Walt Disney Studio’s work during World War II, including those above.

This year, from June 3 to December 30, the Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum on historic Ford Island will showcase over 550 remarkable examples of The Walt Disney Studios’ extensive wartime contributions. Housed within the Museum’s Raytheon Pavilion, the “The Walt Disney Studios and World War II” exhibition is the result of a collaboration between The Walt Disney Family Museum and Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum, curated by Kent Ramsey. In 2022 the exhibition was successfully installed at the Museum of Flight in Seattle.

Expressing her enthusiasm, Museum Executive Director Elissa Lines remarked, “We are thrilled to present these enchanting historic treasures from Disney to our visitors.” She emphasized Disney’s unwavering dedication, stating, “Walt Disney and his creative team committed themselves entirely to the war effort.” Noting the significance of the exhibition, she added, “This marks the final opportunity for audiences to experience this extraordinary display.”

Throughout World War II, The Walt Disney Studios not only ramped up film production but also organized blood drives, cultivated victory gardens, and staged Disney camp shows for the troops. These contributions, which played a pivotal role in uplifting spirits, were carried out without seeking profit, with much of the work remaining uncompensated. “Tomorrow will be better for as long as America keeps alive the ideals of freedom and a better life,” remarked Walt Disney, underscoring the enduring values underpinning his efforts.

Disney characters adorned insignias for numerous military units worldwide, embellishing aircraft, ships, vehicles, and attire. Donald Duck emerged as the most prevalent character, featured in nearly 150 designs, while Goofy and Mickey Mouse followed suit. Reflecting on his involvement, Walt Disney remarked, “How could you turn them down? The insignias meant a lot to the men who were fighting, and they didn’t know who else to go to. I had to do it. Those kids grew up on Mickey Mouse. I owed it to them.”

“Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum is honored to highlight the remarkable contributions of Walt Disney and his studio during World War II,” expressed Lines. She also noted the recent addition of nose art on the Museum’s iconic Swamp Ghost, a B-17 bomber, created by Walt Disney Animation Studios. Depicting Donald Duck emerging from the jungle swamp, the artwork serves as a poignant reminder of Disney’s ongoing support for the military.

Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum
Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum is located on Historic Ford Island, where bombs fell during the attack on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941. Walk the Pearl Harbor battlefield where the attack began, enter the bullet-scarred hangars, and see the control tower and aircraft of the battle, including a Japanese Zero and the B-17 Swamp Ghost. Hear the stories of World War II heroes and their response to the attack that changed our nation and world. Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum’s mission is to steward American’s first aviation battlefield of World War II. It is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that depends on membership, volunteers, and donations for support. To join, volunteer or support, visit www.PearlHarborAviationMuseum.org.

Be the first to comment

Graphic Design, Branding and Aviation Art

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.