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A cartoon short about “how to take over the world” has had over 500 shares since July 2021 and has been played tens of thousands of times. What makes the coin unique is that, according to users, it was created in the 1930s and predicted the current coronavirus pandemic. However, several animation studios consulted questioned this antiquity. AFP’s verification team found no footage of the short before 2021, although it was indeed put together with elements of 1930s cartoons.
“In 1930, a cartoon proposed a series of strategies for dictators to take control of the world. 91 years later, any resemblance will not be purely coincidental.mark the caption of one of the posts shared on Facebook (1, of them, 3), with the video subtitled in Portuguese, referring to the pandemic situation.
The sequel continues to be shared in 2022 and has been posted by users on Twitter (1, of them), Instagram (1, of them), Youtube (1, of them) and in Telegram channels (1, of them), where it had over 40,000 views.
A search for the keywords seen in the video – “early warning cartoon how to take over the world” – turned up the oldest result this post made on one page in May 2021.
This video YouTuber analyzes the viral short and shows how he allegedly used parts of other 1930s shorts to make it. According to the user, the shorts “When My Boat Arrives”, “Sway Sinners” and “Hot Red Mom” served as the basis for the analyzed sequence.
The AFP verification team found similarities between the video that went viral from 2021 and the three short films from the 1930s published on platforms such as YouTube and Daily Motion:
Animation studios consider current short film
“The short ‘An Early Warning Cartoon’ is not from the 1930s. It is clearly contemporary”said a spokesperson for the Phoenix Studio, a Spanish animation company, in response to an AFP investigation. And added that viral video “reuses material from other animated shorts such as 1934’s ‘Red Hot Mamma’, a short starring Betty Boop”.
The Betty Boop character, among others, was created by the American animation studio Fleischerwhose spokeswoman, Kristi Spencer, agreed with the Spanish company, in a press release to AFP: “No, we don’t believe it was done in the 1930s. Even if someone wanted to take that footage and create a movie like this in the 1930s, the technology to do it didn’t exist. The angles and filters used to create the feeling of something old don’t match the films of this period..
“The short has nothing to do with Fleischer Studios. Whoever made it appears to have taken and swapped footage from multiple Fleischer shorts.continued the spokeswoman, who denied any relationship between the American studios and the viral footage.
According to Estúdio Phoenix, in the viral short there is “recycled and manipulated material” from various sources, and “various elements animated by clearly contemporary post-production distortions” because of the techniques used.
Another Spanish animation studio, alchemyalso pointed out that “certain deformations of objects, like the old radio that dances (…) indicates that it can be done today..
Cruz Delgado SanchezDoctor in Audiovisual Communication and Professor of History of Cinema and Animation at the Escola Superior de Design, Inovação e Tecnologia (ESNE)in Madrid, agreed with the studios consulted in response to the AFP verification team.
“This is actually a recreation of what would be a 1930s cartoon short, made from footage copied from various ‘cartoons’ of the era produced by Fleischer Studios and starring Betty Boop as a protagonist”sharp.
The source who answered on behalf of Alkimia Studios explained that sometimes there are elements or characters from an animation that are reused in different projects.
“This kind of recreation is not new. In 2013, Disney Studios made a fake old short”Illustrated Delgado Sánchez.
More two-word clues from the short
Two verification articles in English, dated July and December 2021, highlighted as an indication that the short is not 1930s the word “armed”used in the intertitles of the film and which appears around 11 seconds: “Introducing Weaponized Flu”translated into Portuguese in the subtitles by “introduce a fake flu”.
Also, around 1:35 of the short, there is a misspelling of the intertitle “And euthaize the old man” (translated by “and to sacrifice the old”). The verb “Euthaisize” is badly written, being “euthanize” the correct spelling.