Cartoons and Animation Table of Contents: (1) Down the Gasoline Trail (1935) – Cartoon that follows the life of a drop of gasoline as it travels through a car. Fascinating film to say the least. Length: 00:07:57 (2) Destination Earth (1956) – Aliens come to Earth and learn how humans need oil to survive. Classic propaganda here. Length: 00:13:36 (3) Extra (Esso Screen Ad) (1938) – Short ad with animation by Esso Gasoline Company. Length: 00:01:00 (4) Inside Story of Modern Gasoline (1946) – Shows how gasoline is used and and how it is refined. Length: 00:22:31
Down the Gasoline Trail
Length: 7 Minutes
This Jam Handy production was made to sell Chevrolets (now vintage Chevrolets), but it is a promotional video that is ostensibly an educational video. In order to teach us about the inner workings of the superbly designed Chevy engine and explain how an engine works, the production team combined clever animation with real footage of different parts of the engine to produce an entertaining and humorous film about what happens to gasoline when it is pumped into a car. A great example of black and white cartoons, one animated drop of gasoline acts as the tour guide through the gas line, fuel pump, manifold, and into the cylinder where he is blown up in order to power the car. At this point, he grows little angels wings and flies off, secure in the knowledge that hes lived the best life possible for a drop of gas, which is fueling a Chevy, of course. Theres some nice footage of old Chevy cars which along with the amusing black and white cartoon characters make this a fun promotional video.
Length: 13 Minutes
This funky 50s cartoon features a fine blend of anti-communist and pro-capitalist sentiment, not surprisingly produced by the American Petroleum Institute. A leader of cartoon martians named Colonel Cosmic comes to Earth to find out why humans are such efficient creatures. He does a little research at the local library and finds out that the secret to our success is free enterprise and oil. Such rampant oil propaganda and anti communism was common at the time. The benefits of the free enterprise economic system come as quite a surprise to him Colonel Cosmic, since his home government looks a lot like the Communist government of the Soviet Union, led by the evil Mr. Ogg, a totalitarian leader. Colonel Cosmic goes back to Mars and initiates a revolution, overthrowing the Ogg government. Soon, lots of small businesses and wildcat oil drillers are in business and Mars is starting to look a lot like Earth. Destination Earth is a more amusing piece of Cold War history.
Inside Story of Modern Gasoline
Length: 22 Minutes
The Inside Story of Modern Gasoline is a cute educational video from the 1940s about how automobiles convert gasoline into energy, and crude oil refining. The film follows animated (and personified) droplets of gas as they travel through the engine. While explaining how an engine works, the film treats viewers to vintage automobiles, gas stations, and oil refineries. Entertainingly informative, the chemistry of engine processes are broken down with a mixture of wacky dated scientists and animated molecules flying around. Simple chemistry, shown by basic chemistry animations, help get across the complex processes. Gasoline is important, but a detailed examination of oil and engine lubricant is also looked at closely. Nice shots of old gasoline engines, old engine parts, and oil refineries are included. Finally, gasoline and oils calibration for optimum performance is explored, including lab vapor tests and corrosive testing. The Inside Story of Modern Gasoline works as a fun and interesting film, with a blend of useful information and amusing dated effects.