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December 12

December 12, 1941 – The Educational Short Film 7 Wise Dwarfs is Released

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“Heigh ho, heigh ho, we’re the wisest dwarfs we know!”

On December 12, 1941, the educational short film 7 Wise Dwarfs was released theatrically. The short is a wartime piece commissioned by the Film Board of Canada, in conjunction with the Local War Savings Committee, to educate Canadian audiences about the importance of War Bonds during World War II. It features the dwarfs from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, years after their first appearance. In the short, the dwarfs sing about “five-for-four” – the phrase meant that by buying war bonds, there was a long-term return of five dollars for every four invested. The short was directed by Dick Lyford and Ford Beebe.

The short begins with the dwarfs mining for gems, singing “Heigh Ho.” Doc throws gems into bags labeled with the dwarfs’ names, and Dopey places the gems Doc rejects into his own bag. The dwarfs then march from the mine past Ottowa’s Parliament Hall, and suddenly stop at the post office. Doc spots a sign in the window, asking citizens to by more and more war savings certificates. The dwarfs run inside the post office, accidentally closing the door on Dopey. Undeterred, he spies the bank nearby, and decides to cash his gems there in exchange for war bonds.

Even Grumpy comes out of the post office happy as he carries his war bonds

Even Grumpy comes out of the post office happy as he carries his war bonds

The dwarfs are then seen leaving the post office, each one’s arms filled with war bonds. They march home, singing that they’ve done their part to “win the war with five-for-four.” The short then turns into a plea to the audience to lend their savings to help pay for weapons and supplies for the war effort, and asking them to “invest in victory.”

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