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Today the German monster threatens the world

This cartoon begins with a caption that reads, ‘the German monster threatens the world with bloodshed, slavery and death’. An animated King Kong-like monster wreaks havoc on the world, destroying villages, women and children. At the end of the clip, an intertitle says ‘your help is needed and needed now’, accompanied by an illustration of a soldier to encourage young men to enlist in the armed forces.

Year:1916

Location:Australia

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Today the German monster threatens the world

This cartoon begins with a caption that reads, ‘the German monster threatens the world with bloodshed, slavery and death’. An animated King Kong-like monster wreaks havoc on the world, destroying villages, women and children. At the end of the clip, an intertitle says ‘your help is needed and needed now’, accompanied by an illustration of a soldier to encourage young men to enlist in the armed forces.


Year: 1916

Length: 02:44

Production Company: Australian Gazette

Credits: Cartoonist: Harry Julius

Source: National Film and Sound Archive of Australia

Catalogue Reference: Moving image NFSA title: 107654


People: Cartoonist: Harry Julius

Location: Australia

Tags: Australia, Harry Julius, cartoons, animation, newsreels, propaganda

Subject: cartoons, animation, propaganda


This is a good example of a propaganda cartoon that uses emotive language and an exaggerated cartoon character to persuade Australian men to join the war effort. Words and phrases used in connection with the German threat include 'bloodshed’, 'slavery’, 'death’, 'banquet of blood’, 'slaughter’, 'vengeance’ and 'deadly peril’.

Animator Harry Julius emphasises the brutality of the German forces to provoke a patriotic response in Australian audiences, particularly men of enlistment age. Julius’s cartoons frequently satirised the German forces during the First World War. As the war dragged on and Australian troop numbers declined, Julius’s cartoons for the Australasian Gazette became increasingly explicit in their support of Prime Minister Billy Hughes’s push for conscription.

Scenes of the 'German monster’ stomping on villages and killing innocents in the middle of this clip are difficult to make out because of decomposition of the nitrate film. Nitrate film base is fragile and begins to degrade as soon as it is made. Symptoms of nitrate decomposition include fading of the silver image, stickiness in the base, film blistering, shrinkage and brittleness. When prepared for preservation at the National Film and Sound Archive, this film was already moderately scratched, sticky and heavily shrunken.

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Today the German monster threatens the world

  • Australia

  • 0:00

    Animated handwriting: To-day the German monster threatens the world………

  • 0:11

    Animation of a gorilla-like monster wearing a German helmet

  • 0:15

    The monster grabs the Earth and crushes it

  • 0:26

    Animated handwriting: The orgie of the monster continues…..

  • 0:39

    Nitrate film damaged. Monster crushing houses

  • 1:44

    Boot with spurs

  • 1:50

    Nitrate film damaged

  • 2:26

    Drawing of a soldier. TEXT: AND NEEDED NOW