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I know very little about the history of government and private funding for the film industry, but two thoughts do leap to mind as avenues to investigate:
1. any funding that might have been available through Roosevelt's WPA akin to the Federal Theatre Program and Federal Art Program--but given film's (not to mention animation's) shaky status as "art," I think it unlikely,  all the more unlikely, given Disney's political proclivities.
2. Much more obvious--Saludos Amigos, which was released in 1942, and not targeted to military audiences but aided by the federal agency headed by Nelson Rockefeller.  Details about the type and degree of federal support should be available.

Don Larsson
___________________________________________________
"I mean, everybody deserves the benefit of the doubt."
--Harvey Pekar

Donald F. Larsson, Professor
English Department, Minnesota State University, Mankato
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From: Film and TV Studies Discussion List [[log in to unmask]] on behalf of Doc Britto [[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Saturday, January 28, 2012 5:54 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [SCREEN-L] Walt Disney financial strategy question in the 30s/40s

Hello,
> As many of you may know, there are dozens and dozens of biographies on
> Walt Disney.
I have read Marc Eliot's, where he details the financial deals for
producing Mickey Mouse films in the 30's, along with more information
about Disney's first feature films. As far as it is noted in Eliot's
book, Walt Disney never applied for any kind of private/foundation grant
or government art funding for his  cartoon production in the 30s and
40s. Can anyone confirm this? Was there any such funding available for
producing cartoons at the time? Or were cartoon studios always obliged
to find a funding strategy solely based on returns from
sales/distribution/merchandising?

When I say government funding, I'm not asking about government
commissions for cartoons for the American military, such as during WWII,
but simply government money given to an artist so that they can use it
to pursue their art freely.

> Thank you in advance for any more information.
>
> V. Britto
>
>

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