Tuesday, January 07, 2014

walt disney: the story of menstruation

openculture | Throughout the past two years, we’ve shown you various Walt Disney propaganda films from World War II. Now it’s time to visit a very different mid-1940s Disney production – The Story of Menstruation. From 1945 to 1951, Disney produced a series of educational films to be shown in American schools. How to bathe an infant. How not to catch a cold. Why you shouldn’t drive fast. Disney covered these subjects in its educational shorts, and then eventually got to the touchy subject of biology and sexuality. If there was ever a company suited to talk about “vaginas” in the 1940s in a copacetic way, it was Disney. Hence The Story of Menstruation. The film runs 10 minutes, combining scientific facts with hygiene tips, and it was actually commissioned by the International Cello-Cotton Company, the forerunner of Kimberly-Clark, the maker of Kotex products. An estimated 105 million students watched the film in sex ed classes across the US. And, according to Tinker Belles and Evil Queens, the film remained a mainstay in schools until the 1960s. It’s now in the public domain. And you’ll find it in the Animation section of our collection of 475 Free Online Movies.


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