Two young squirrels ask their grandfather (voiced by an uncredited Mel Blanc) on Christmas Eve who the "men" are in the lyric "Peace on Earth, good will to men." The grandfather squirrel then tells them a history of the human race, focusing on the never-ending wars men waged. Ultimately, the wars do end, with the deaths of the last men on Earth, one shoots the other soldier and the injured soldier kills the last, but slowly dies as he sinks into a watery foxhole as his hand grasps into the water. Afterwards, the surviving animals discover a copy of an implied Bible in the ruins of a church. Inspired by the book's teachings, they decide to rebuild a society dedicated to peace and nonviolence (using the helmets of soldiers to construct houses). The cartoon features an original song written to the tune of "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing".
According to Hugh Harman's obituary in the New York Times and Ben Mankiewicz, host of Cartoon Alley, the cartoon was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. However, it is not listed in the official Nobel Prize nomination database. Mankiewicz also claimed that the cartoon was the first about a serious subject by a major studio.
In 1994, it was voted #40 of the 50 Greatest Cartoons of all time by members of the animation field. It was also nominated for the 1939 Academy Award for Short Subjects (Cartoons), but lost to Walt Disney's Silly Symphony The Ugly Duckling).
- ↑ New York Times Obituaries: Hugh Harman, 79, Creator Of 'Looney Tunes' Cartoons
- ↑ My Life in "Toons": From Flatbush to Bedrock in Under a Century, by Joseph Barbera. 1994, Turner Publishing
- ↑ The Nomination Database for the Nobel Peace Prize, 1901-1955
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