May 8, 2007
One of the pleasures of watching the Private Snafu shorts is seeing the work of Ted "Dr. Seuss" Geisel and Warner Bros. animators and artists in the service of honest-to-God adult entertainment. As the Snafu films were produced under the auspices of the military to serve as training films for the armed forces—and since they had to deal with subjects like picking up venereal diseases from overseas hotties—artists who normally had to contend with censors were free to cut loose a little.

Relative to the number of people who have watched Bugs Bunny and company bash each other on the head, few have seen Snafu films, even though they were declassified decades ago; fewer still have seen Snafu pre-production and animation artwork. So you definitely want to check out Paul Manchester's website, in which he posts dozens of scans of cels, storyboards and concept art. He's also assembled an animatic from Weapon of War, a wartime storyboard he uncovered.

Manchester came across this treasure trove the old-fashioned way: he inherited it. His great-uncle Harold "Al" Curry was a storyboard artist under Geisel during the war, and Manchester has been organizing this collection in anticipation of selling it off. So get your eyeful while you can.

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