Sunday, September 25, 2005

Authentic History Center: Donald Duck's Atomic Bomb

From the Authentic History Center comes a cautionary tale of the Atomic Age by Disney.

In Donald Duck's Atomic Bomb, the career-malleable mallard invents an atomic bomb in his home only to have it stolen by a consulting scientist named Prof. Sleezy, who turned out to be a spy.

The bomb is detonated inside the city of Duckburg, with frightening consequences that probably amused children and worried the more knowledgeable adults.

The Disney-fication of a nightmare scenario
In the Donald Duck strip, the bomb goes off and all that happens is that people lose their hair! That the loss of hair is a sign of radiation sickness was also downplayed as a harmless and temporary effect in pro-nuclear propaganda of the 40's and 50's. The usual message was "Don't worry, it will grow back."

While this comic on the surface seems today as anti-nuclear, I see it as another entry in the 'harmless-ification' for public consumption of a serious subject and horrifying weapon that the creators of the documentary The Atomic Cafe addressed so well years ago.

Here is where you can read the entire strip, Donald Duck's Atomic Bomb.



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