Momotaro’s Sea Eagle contains many different scenes that emphasize the use of propaganda in Japan. This scene showing Momotaro and his animal soldiers, in particular, serves an important role because it shows the contrasting roles of Momotaro and his soldiers who are about to fly off to Pearl Harbor.
In the beginning of the film, Momotaro is immediately introduced with a powerful position. He is shown in front of the army with an obvious leadership role. The map on the wall and the pointer in his hand show his knowledge and leadership in this instance. Momotaro’s shadow in this scene is emphasized to be larger and darker compared to the shadows of the animals.
During this scene, Momotaro gives off a dictator-like impression as his expressions drastically contrast those of the animal soldiers. His physical traits are almost sinister with the angry expression of his eyebrows along with the intimidating look of seriousness in his mouth. Meanwhile, Momotaro’s soldiers are shorter, simpler, and happier than him. They reside with innocent smiles on their faces and are shaped with rounded curves giving off an adorable statue. The animals come off as harmless, especially in their headbands, boots, and belts.
The idea of propaganda, in this case, is to convince the audience that the Japanese are the “good guys” who contain no evil and are simply doing the right thing. For example, the animal soldiers come off as cute, happy, and innocent in order to make the Japanese seem harmless. This scene parallels the folktale in such a way where both focus so clearly on the aspect of the war and victory of Japan.