Thursday, December 31, 2015

"Peace on Earth"

    “Peace on Earth” is a classic animated short about a post-apocalyptic world populated exclusively by animals. It features an old squirrel explaining to his grandchildren how this circumstance came to be. Considering the title of the short, it is probably not a spoiler to reveal humans wiped themselves out in a massive war. There are hints of this early on as the animals homes are clearly army helmets, canteens, and other war materiel. It is a nice, subtle touch.
       The short itself is not so subtle. The imagery terrified me as a kid. Much of my fright had to do with immersion into the Bob Jones theological obsession with the End Ties. “Peace on Earth” features Christian undertones. At one point after man is extinct, the animals discover a Bible an emphasize the “Thou shalt not kill” commandment. It is difficult not to be spooked by “Peace n Earth” as a kid facing a barrage of apocalyptic anxiety.
       “Peace on Earth” was nominated for an Academy Award. It is claimed to have received a Nobel peace Prize nomination as well but journalists and film historians have yet to discover records as proof. The short was remade in 1955 with cold War elements replacing the World War I feel of 'Peace on Earth.” The remake warned of nuclear destruction with heavier christian themes. The remake never resonated quite like the original. “Peace on Earth” is a classic.    

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