I’ve been watching a lot of cartoons lately. Classic Disney from the 30s and 40s, and mostly featuring Donald and Goofy. It’s a nice way to spend a Sunday morning. It all started when I remembered the cartoons the used to broadcast near Halloween, particularly “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” which was my favorite growing up. I also remembered a particular cartoon about cars being on trial. Unable to remember the name of the cartoon, or whether Goofy was in it, I just googled “Goofy” and “Cars.”
I found a lot of cartoons, except the one I was looking for (I found it later, it’s called the “Story of Anyburg”). Among the ones I found were “Motor Mania” and “Freeway Troubles.”
I will focus on the more educational cartoon, “Freeway Troubles.” This cartoon appeared in 1960, but the script and the animation probably were done a couple of years before. Four years before the cartoon was released Eisenhower signed the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956 and Inter-state highways became an integral part of American life.
As you all probably know, more people on the roads driving faster means more accidents, and potentially, more deaths. The risk increases if you have a great number of inexperienced drivers. This was probably the case when people moved from slow rural roads to fast, multiple-lane highways. So, Disney made a very entertaining example of care communication. The cartoon describes the different types of people one might encounter on the road (the shy driver, the impatient driver and the distracted driver) and the dangers they pose. The cartoon also delves into the physics of breaking, making quite clear why one must not drive bumper-to-bumper with the car in front.
I also found another cartoon, from 1943, that features the 7 dwarves teaching people how to combat malaria and the “tiny criminal” that transmits it. The film explains really well how malaria is transmitted, and the health and economical consequences of acquiring it. It offers good advice for controlling Anopheles populations (although some of it is very, very dated).
They are very funny and entertaining, and certainly get their point across! Watch them!