A War Short

Released in the United States on November 5, 1943, The Winged Scourge was a short film to help the war effort by educating viewers about the dangers of malaria and how to eradicate the mosquitoes responsible for its spread. Its first production title was “The Mosquito and Malaria”. As one might expect, these measures should not be taken literally today, if only for environmental reasons.

Like many war shorts, this one has a double advantage: reusing characters known to the studio in order to benefit not only from their celebrity with the public, but also from the knowledge that the artists have of them, and even the possibility of reusing animation, music or other elements, as is the case here. For example, the orchestral version of “Whistle While You Work” accompanies the dwarfs’ commotion.

Foreign versions

Rarely enough to be noted, although the short film in English seems to have been made for Latin America (because of its subject), in addition to the versions in English, Spanish and Portuguese, a French version was made and has come down to us, with French title cards. This version was probably intended for the colonies, malaria being a disease, already at that time, rare in the French metropolis. The film is mentioned with its French title in the magazine Elle of December 5, 1946.

Longer and with better gags than the previous short films, like 7 Wise Dwarfs, this film remains however very little known because of its subject. But it offers original animation created for the production and not taken from the feature film.

Production information

Production number: 2732
Director: Bill Roberts
Assistant director: Mike Holoboff
Layout: Hugh Hennesy
Animation : Ed Aardal (effects), Andy Engman (effects), Milt Kahl (dwarfs), Josh Meador (effects), John McManus (mosquitoes and grubs), George Rowley (effects – smoke), Frank Thomas (Dopey), Harvey Toombs (dwarfs).

Cast
Narrator: Art Baker

Storyboard

Layout & Backgrounds

Stills

Watch the Short