Watch This Documentary Short in Which Disney's Seven Dwarfs Teach Us About Malaria


According to the release date info on many online film sites, including IMDb, today marks the 70th anniversary of a short, animated documentary titled The Winged Scourge. Produced by Walt Disney for the Office of the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs, the ten-minute film is also claimed as being delivered to the agency in January of 1943, not November. But it’s possible that it wasn’t released to U.S. theaters for many months, especially since its initial target was Latin American viewers.

The Winged Scourge is about malaria and the mosquitos that transfer the disease. Actor Art Baker narrates us through the instructional propaganda, and the Seven Dwarfs from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs appear to help illustrate the ways to get rid of the insects and protect against whatever they may be carrying. IMDb names animators Bill Justice and Bill Roberts both as uncredited directors, with Disney legends (and members of the “Nine Old Men”) Milt Kahl and Frank Thomas serving as animators.

Yes, it’s one of those dated animated docs that is just enjoyable today for curiosity’s sake. But worth watching all the same. Oh, and I think it’s actually proven that if you wear a frog under your hat, ala Dopey, they’ll get the mosquitos before the pests have a chance to bite you.

(Editor in Chief)

Christopher Campbell is the founding editor of Nonfics.