War Horse: World War II Cartoon Put the “Draft” in Draft Horse

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Cartoons were a way of life in American for more than 75 years. They began in movie theaters, as short entertainment between or before films.  Later, many of the theater cartoons were broadcast on television and a new entertainment industry sprouted as Warner Bros Cartoons and Walt Disney led a brilliant parade of characters who were as familiar to Americans as any real movie or television stars. Many still are.

Popeye, Daffy Duck, Mickey and Minnie, Foghorn Leghorn, Tweetie Pie and Betty Boop were escapism entertainment. Except during World War II, anyway. Then cartoons became political.

This Warner Brothers short is an example of the patriotism-themed cartoon. If people were going to go to the movies, they needed escape, but the escape had a message. “The Draft” was a word on everyone’s lips, as young men were called up for service every day. So the “Draft Horse” was a play on words, as a plow horse decides he needs to do his bit for America and join the Army.

As you watch the cartoon, think about the people watching it in a dark theater somewhere in rural America in 1942. Would they get the message? Yes, even a plow horse was willing to do his part.

Every war seems to have its “war horse” icons. This one from World War II can be viewed on many levels, or just enjoy this very, very funny horse!

War Horse News thanks Liv Gude of ProEquineGrooms.com for the alert to this cartoon!

Be brave! Entrench yourself in WAR HORSE NEWS on the web: 1) Bookmark WarHorseBlog.com; 2) Grab the RSS feed; 3) Follow @WarHorseNews on Twitter; 4) “Like” the War Horse News page on Facebook; 5) Circle War Horse News on Google +. Leave your questions and comments here on the blog and we’ll try to help you! WAR HORSE NEWS is written for moviegoers, horse lovers and history buffs by horse-specialist journalist Fran Jurga and hosted by Equisearch.com.

Mark the Calendar: War Horse DVD Release Is Also the Documentary’s Premiere!

April 3, 2012 is the date announced for the release of War Horse on Blue-Ray, DVD, Digital and On-­Demand delivery!

The exciting part about the home-theatre launch is that it will not just put the film in our hands but give us an entirely new film as well. Within the boxed sets will be a one-hour documentary about the making of the film!

What an event this will be! The home entertainment packaging of War Horse will be available in two versions with two different sets of ancillary content. You’ll be able to experience the making of the film, and then watch the film, out of the same box!

warhorsenews GOLD logo SMALLThe premium 4-­Disc Blu‐ray Combo Pack, in particular, allows viewers to explore the filmmaking process and storytelling adventure through the special 60-minute documentary, “A Filmmaking Journey”, created by Spielberg. It offers a never-­before-­seen inside look at how the film was made.

Additional bonus features include a behind-the-scenes look at the musical scoring session with five‐time Oscar-­winning composer John Williams, a look inside the editing room with three-time Academy Award winning film editor Michael Kahn, a visit to the sound room with seven time Oscar-winning sound designer Gary Rydstrom, and a very special gaze through Producer Kathleen Kennedy’s lens as she shares photos she took during the filming and recounts her discovery of War Horse.

War Horse received Academy Award nominations for Best Picture, Best Original Score, Best Art Direction, Best Sound Editing and Best Sound Mixing–and we’ll find out this Sunday night if the film won!

Here’s a rundown of what is in each set of the home entertainment packages.

4-Disc Combo Pack

(2-Disc Blu-ray + 1 Disc DVD + Digital Copy) ($45.99U.S./$52.99  Canada) Includes:

  • A Filmmaking Journey – Academy Award-winning Director/Producer Steven Spielberg provides a unique and unprecedented look into the making and filming of War Horse.
  • Editing & Scoring – Multi-Oscar winners Michael Kahn (film editor) and John Williams (composer) discuss specific aspects of editing the film and composing music for War Horse, as well as the secret to their long and successful collaborations with Steven Spielberg.
  • The Sounds of “War Horse” – Seven-time Academy Award-winning sound designer Gary Rydstrom takes us through the sophisticated sound design he created for War Horse.
  • Through The Producer’s Lens – Producer Kathleen Kennedy shares the photos she took during filming and recounts how she discovered the source material, as well as her appreciation of Steven Spielberg’s vision, the team that sounds him, and why War Horse appealed to her.
  • War Horse: The Look – Director/Producer Steven Spielberg introduces us to his creative team of production designer Rick Carter, costume designer Joanna Johnston and director of photography Janusz Kaminski, who discuss what it took to design the look for the film.
  • An Extra’s Point of View – Film extra Martin Dew explains how and why he was brought in–along with a hundred other men–to be featured alternately as both German and British soldiers.

2-Disc Combo Pack (Blu-ray + DVD) Includes:

  • War Horse: The Journey Home
  • An Extra’s Point of View

1-Disc DVD Includes:

  • War Horse: The Look

Digital Download Includes:

  • War Horse: The Look
  • An Extra’s Point of View
Be brave! Entrench yourself in WAR HORSE NEWS on the web: 1) Bookmark WarHorseBlog.com; 2) Grab the RSS feed; 3) Follow @WarHorseNews on Twitter; 4) “Like” the War Horse News page on Facebook; 5) Circle War Horse News on Google +. Leave your questions and comments here on the blog and we’ll try to help you! WAR HORSE NEWS is written for moviegoers, horse lovers and history buffs by horse-specialist journalist Fran Jurga and hosted by Equisearch.com.

War Horse Nominated for Genesis Award for Animal-Friendly Entertainment

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DreamWorks’ Academy Award-nominated War Horse, Twentieth Century Fox’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Rio, and Alcon Entertainment’s Dolphin Tale lead the diverse field of 58 nominees for The Humane Society of the United States’ 26th Genesis Awards.

Honoring the news and entertainment media for their outstanding reporting and creative portrayals of animal protection issues in 19 categories, The HSUS’s 26th Genesis Awards, hosted by Dancing with the Stars’ Carrie Ann Inaba, will be presented at a gala ceremony on Saturday, March 24, 2012, at The Beverly Hilton, Beverly Hills, California.  The event will air as a one-hour special on Animal Planet in May.

warhorsenews GOLD logo SMALL“It was an outstanding year for major feature films with strong animal protection content and, most significantly, a combined domestic box office gross of $468 million – $1.17 billion worldwide. Animal welfare concerns, such as chimpanzees being used in research which is addressed in Rise of the Planet of the Apes, are reaching huge audiences, thanks to the quality and engaging storylines of these films,” says Beverly Kaskey, senior director of HSUS Hollywood Outreach and executive producer of the annual Genesis Awards.

Tickets are available at humanesociety.org/genesis.

The 26th Genesis Awards is sponsored in part by Misix, Market Development Group, The InterGroup Corporation, Hilton San Francisco Financial District, Prai Beauty Group, Tenet, Euro RSCG Edge, Honda, One Car One Difference and Modern Dog.

war horse wall2-iphoneFEATURE FILM
DOLPHIN TALE Alcon Entertainment
RIO Twentieth Century Fox/Blue Sky Studios
RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES Twentieth Century Fox/Chernin Entertainment
WAR HORSE DreamWorks SKG

Other Possibly Horse-Related Award Nominees Include:
FEATURE DOCUMENTARY
BUCK Sundance Selects, Cedar Creek Productions
TV NEWSMAGAZINE
ISSUES WITH JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL   multiple issues   HLN (she covered wild horse roundup issues)
SERIES OF NEWSPAPER ARTICLES
LEXINGTON HERALD-LEADER    Janet Patton (she often writes about horses and racing)
ON-LINE AWARD
THE ATLANTIC.COM   multiple articles on wild horses by Andrew Cohen

UPDATE: The award was presented to Rise of the Planet of the Apes from Twentieth Century Fox. Congratulations to everyone who works to portray animals in a positive way in the entertainment industry! Andrew Cohen won a Genesis Award for his series of articles on issues affecting wild horses, published in The Atlantic.

Be brave! Entrench yourself in WAR HORSE NEWS on the web: 1) Bookmark WarHorseBlog.com; 2) Grab the RSS feed; 3) Follow @WarHorseNews on Twitter; 4) “Like” the War Horse News page on Facebook; 5) Circle War Horse News on Google +. Leave your questions and comments here on the blog and we’ll try to help you! WAR HORSE NEWS is written for moviegoers, horse lovers and history buffs by horse-specialist journalist Fran Jurga and hosted by Equisearch.com.

Your Horse Is in the Army Now! But Where Did War Horses Go Before They Were Sent to France?

War Horse News is going to take a little detour this week. The detour passes through the Library of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) in London, which offers some clues to something that’s been on my mind about Joey’s path from the farm to the war.

There are two strong settings in the film War Horse. The farm scenes in rural Devon and the trenches and scorched earth of No Man’s Land at The Front.

War Horse News gold logo (small)But one other setting really stuck with me: the extensive stables where Captain Nicholls took Joey after buying him from Albert’s father. In the book version of War Horse, author Michael Morpurgo does into quite a bit of detail of this period of Joey’s life with Captain Nicholls. A war horse needs a lot of training, and Joey was turned over to Corporal Sam Perkins for what we might think of as dressage training.

Corporal Perkins complained, “He’s good out on maneuvers–a real stayer, one of the very best–but inside the school, sir, he’s a devil, and a strong devil, too. Never been properly schooled, sir, you can tell that….If he’s to be a cavalry horse, sir, he’ll have to learn to accept the disciplines. He has to learn to obey instantly and instinctively. You don’t want a prima donna under you when the bullets start flying.”

Joey’s voice tells us “Now there were endless tedious hours circling the school. Gone was the gentle snaffle bit that I was so used to, and in its place was an uncomfortable, cumbersome barbed bit that pinched the corners of my mouth and infuriated me beyond belief.”

It sounds like Joey would have been a good eventer…but maybe not a dressage horse. In the book, Joey complains about the harsh bit and spurs that Corporal Perkins uses to make him submissive.

This part of Joey’s training was most important, and thousands of cavalry horses went through a similar ordeal. They would have been sent to a place like Romsey Remount Depot or Lathom Park in Lancashire. Later in the war, Romsey specialized in turning thousands upon thousands of North American “mustangs” into instant war horses.

Things looked pretty light-hearted for the grooms at Romsey Remount Depot near Southampton during World War I. Notice the hand-cranked clipping machine they're using. Photo from the Portsmouth.co.uk.

We offer a special excerpt today from the Royal College of Veterinary Science (RCVS) Trust Library in London. My fellow blogger there, librarian Clare Boulton, offers some insight into “equine recruits” at the beginning of World War I:

“In his book, The Horse and the War, Sidney Galtrey states that 165,000 horses were ‘impressed’ by the Army in the first twelve days of the war alone.  Records show that during the course of the war some 468,000 horses were purchased in the UK and a further 618,000 in North America.

“This massive increase in numbers required a rapid expansion of the Remount Service, part of this expansion was the establishment of a new depot at Romsey to receive horses that arrived in Southampton, having been purchased in the USA.

“Construction of Romsey Remount Depot began in November 1914.  It was completed in just over four months, for a cost of £152,000, with the first two horses arriving on 19th March 1915.  The Commandant of the depot, Colonel H M Jessel, recorded its activities in The story of Romsey Remount Depot.

Joey possibly would have experienced a train trip en route to France.

“A fairly typical month was July 1916 when Jessel records the daily ‘ins’ as 2533 animals and the ‘outs’ as 1374.  During the course of the war a total of 118,755 animals came into Romsey and 114,636 were sent out for active service.

“The record of the veterinary work at Romsey for May 1917-October 1918 shows that 5,458 animals were admitted to the Veterinary Hospital but just 35 died or had to be  destroyed.  The most common reasons given for the deaths is enteritis or fractures.

“It would appear from the inscriptions on the paintings by Lionel Edwards that featured in our earlier post at least one of these horses spent some time receiving veterinary treatment at Romsey as the painting  is labeled ‘nasal eruption not glanders’.”

If you live in the UK and are interested in finding out more about the remount service, why not pay a visit to the RCVS Library Trust and look at the items that they have in their collections?

RCVS References
Galtrey, Sidney (1918) The horse and the war London : Country Life and George Newnes
Hume, Robert (2010) The story of the Army Remount Service (unpublished)
Jessel H. M. [1919] The story of Romsey Remount Depot London: Abbey Press

You might also enjoy these article: “The real-life war horses from Hampshire” from portsmouth.co.uk and “War horses trained in West Lancs” by Henry James

Be brave! Entrench yourself in WAR HORSE NEWS on the web: 1) Bookmark WarHorseBlog.com; 2) Grab the RSS feed; 3) Follow @WarHorseNews on Twitter; 4) “Like” the War Horse News page on Facebook; 5) Circle War Horse News on Google +. Leave your questions and comments here on the blog and we’ll try to help you! WAR HORSE NEWS is written for moviegoers, horse lovers and history buffs by horse-specialist journalist Fran Jurga and hosted by Equisearch.com.

Can You Help Us with a Vote in the 2012 ESMA Poll?

Equestrian Social Media Awards 2012 Finalist - Best BlogHave you voted yet in the 2012 PagePlay Equestrian Social Media Awards polls?

Fran Jurga of War Horse News is a finalist this year in the category of “Best Blog”.

Voting ends this week, so…

Can you take a minute and visit the ESMA VOTING SITE?

Look for Fran Jurga in Category 17 (Best Blog).

Thanks very much!

Be brave! Entrench yourself in WAR HORSE NEWS on the web: 1) Bookmark WarHorseBlog.com; 2) Grab the RSS feed; 3) Follow @WarHorseNews on Twitter; 4) “Like” the War Horse News page on Facebook; 5) Circle War Horse News on Google +. Leave your questions and comments here on the blog and we’ll try to help you! WAR HORSE NEWS is written for moviegoers, horse lovers and history buffs by horse-specialist journalist Fran Jurga and hosted by Equisearch.com.