To Demon Island and Back

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Monkey hopping between planes that are flying in mid-air

Momotaro’s Sea Eagles is a Japanese war propaganda film that depicts the bombing of Pearl Harbor through the use of characters from the Japanese folk-tale, “Momotaro,” a story that any person who grew up in Japan would know. The shot above is taken from when Momotaro’s animal force is flying toward Demon Island and depicts Momotaro’s “sea eagles,” the planes and the animal soldiers flying them. The monkey on Torpedo Bomber No. 3 has calmed down the crying baby bird and is taking it to its mother by hopping from plane to plane to try to get the mother’s attention and reach her. We see in this shot the eight planes flying close together in somewhat of a formation, which shows that even during a scene that is not as serious as other parts of the film, the military and war aspect is still strong. The monkey helping the bird is cute and the shopping from plane to plane is absurd and funny, but this shot reminds the viewers that these animals are still at war, which as a war propaganda film is important to show. The dark and gloomy clouds also serve to emphasize the war aspect as even though the soldiers seem confident in their upcoming attack, one can never be sure if they will make it out alive.

Even during a slightly humorous and light scene, and war aspect of the film is clearly still present, just as it is in the original folktale. Momotaro never strays from his mission to defeat the evil ogres of Ogre Island, as the animal soldiers never stray from their path to Demon Island, always keeping their important mission in mind.

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