Destination Earth (in the Ephemeral section of Open Video Project. Also, film #424 on Prelinger Archive). [Category: Industrial]

This animated bit of capitalist propaganda features a Martian from a totalitarian Martian society who comes to Earth to find out what makes the Earthmobiles so darned efficient, so he can repair the Head Martian’s limousine. By doing research in a public library, he discovers that oil and free-market competition make America great, so he goes back to Mars to preach this gospel (obviously the stack of books that he steals from the library don’t contain titles about air and water pollution, Middle-Eastern politics, robber barons, or the Great Depression). This inspires the Martians so much that they all go out to drill oil wells, while the totalitarian leader is conquered simply by pushing a self-destruct button––that he was defeated so easily really makes you wonder about the intelligence of the Martian race. This is propaganda, to be sure, but it’s delightfully animated, genuinely funny in spots, and less strident than many films of its kind. The bright colors and 50s cute-style animation won me over, frankly, though I’m not about to drill any oil wells any time soon.

Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ****. Weirdness: ****. Historical Interest: *****. Overall Rating: ****.

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