7.4/10
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24 user 5 critic

Peace on Earth (1939)

Two baby squirrels ask grandpa to explain what "men" are when he comes in singing "peace on earth, goodwill to men". Grandpa tells the story of man's last war.

Director:

Hugh Harman (uncredited)
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Uncredited cast:
Sara Berner ... Baby Squirrel (uncredited)
Mel Blanc ... Grandpa Squirrel (voice) (uncredited)
Bernice Hansen Bernice Hansen ... Baby Squirrel (uncredited)
The Hollywood Choir Boys The Hollywood Choir Boys ... Vocalists (voice) (uncredited)
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Storyline

A baby squirrel asks his grandfather to tell him what happened to all the men. The old squirrel reveals that all the humans were killed years ago in a terrible war. The surviving animals started a new society, based on the lessons taught in the Bible. Written by Mike Konczewski

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Animation | Short | Drama

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 December 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Friede auf Erden See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The first short subject to receive a Parents Magazine Medal. See more »

Quotes

Grandpa Squirrel: It was awful. It was terrible. Why, they fought and they fought and they fought, until... until there was only two of them left.
[each soldier shoots the other and goes down]
Grandpa Squirrel: And that was the end of the last man on Earth.
See more »

Connections

Edited into Tom and Jerry Christmas Special (1987) See more »

Soundtracks

Silent Night, Holy Night
(1818)
Music by Franz Xaver Gruber
Lyrics by Joseph Mohr
English lyrics anonymous
Sung by studio chorus
See more »

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User Reviews

 
An Anti-War Message As Told By Woodland Critters
24 November 2017 | by VimaconeSee all my reviews

When Hugh Harman made PEACE ON EARTH, he intended it to be an ambitious anti-war film. He later said he wanted to make it a longer 2-reel cartoon. Nonetheless it turned out to be one of the greatest and most chilling cartoons to come from Hollywood's animation golden age.

Despite being an anti-war film from the late 1930's, the message isn't very clear, beyond demonstrating man's inability to maintain a peaceful society with animals succeeding after man's demise. There are religious icons sprinkled throughout the film, but there aren't used to preach any messages, as one would suspect from a film of this kind. Their presence in the film also seem vague. The elder squirrel's recollections of man's war echoes the horrors of World War I, which was still strongly in the public's recollection.

Harman and Ising were known for trying to compete with Disney. They were really the only men that come close to replicating Disney's polished animation, but storytelling was not their strength. Nonetheless, this is one of Harman's best films. Unlike most Christmas films, this one can be unnerving to some audiences due to its grim war sequences and outcomes.

Remade by Hannah-Barbera in 1955 as GOOD WILL TO MEN with updated horrific war imagery reflecting the Cold War and a more clear cut religious message.


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