Capitalist Propaganda: The ABC of Hand Tools

The ABC of Hand Tools is a 1946 Disney animated short film sponsored by General Motors.

Disney is always good, but I take special delight in its upbeat, “of COURSE we can build the future” opening montage. I miss that optimistic attitude in America. Some days it really feels like Obama beat it out of us with his insidious health care law.

[The ABC of Hand Tools] (Viewer #38,026)

This is an educational film in two parts. Part one covers metal shop, and part two covers wood shop. Primitive Pete does everything wrong in both environments. He uses the tools incorrectly, allowing the narrator to correct him. It also features his female counterpart, who is constantly distracting him.

I actually remember being show this one in my shop class, so I’ll count this one as effective propaganda.

By the way, I’ve only embedded part 1. I couldn’t find part 2, but I did find this link to a “full version”. I chose not to use it because they clipped the credits. Anyway, jump to 17:18 for part 2.

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  1. I haven’t seen this cartoon since I was in high school…and that was a long time ago. I don’t know how you found it but thanks for posting it.


  2. It bothers me how much the narrator berates Primitive Pete for using tools incorrectly. We just watched Primitive Pete invent the hammer, man! This guy created the foundation of all technology for the last ten thousand years and the narrator is going to sit here and insult him for using the wrong size screwdriver?! Show some respect!


  3. I remember good old Primitive Pete being used to explain the difference between the Id, Ego, and Superego in Freudian psychology.



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