Who doesn't love cartoons? The Man, that's who.
They insist on editing away those wonderful animated moments of horrifying violence, profanity and outright bigotry that cartoons from all eras like to slip in from time to time. Typically they only get to slip it in once before parents and advertisers drop the hammer and get the episode pulled forever.
Here are some of the moments they don't want you to see... though upon further review, we're thinking they may have been right.
#5. Donald Duck Gets in Der Fuhrer's Face
Donald Duck was basically the anti-Mickey Mouse. For his time, he was rude and crass; a real prick that everyone loved. He's played second banana to Mickey for decades, despite many polls back in the day showing him to be the more popular character. Sometimes, we just identify with the asshole more.
What many people don't know is that Donald Duck's rise to fame came in 1943 when Disney decided to him dress up like a goddamn Nazi and make fun of the Axis in the animated short "Der Fuhrer's Face":
What The Fuck?
Yes, this cartoon makes fun of Nazis, but it's still pretty fucking offensive. At the 1:03 mark there is a Japanese character that is literally painted yellow.
Then there is the gay innuendo at 1:07, with the clearly gay depiction of Nazi military leader and future war criminal Hermann Goering getting rammed from behind with the trombone seconds later, proving that the "tromboner" joke you used in elementary school is a tradition dating back to at least the 40s.
But what makes Disney wish this would quietly go away is the portrayal of Donald Duck as the loyal Nazi (during what later turns out to be a dream sequence).
"Der Fuhrer's Face" was just one in a line of seven Pro-US and Pro-Army shorts done by Disney at the time". Also, they weren't the only ones getting in on the propaganda train, seeing as Popeye did it too (with the subtle title, "You're a Sap, Mr. Jap!"), as well as everyone from Daffy Duck to Superman, so yeah, this was pretty common for the time.
It won the 1943 Academy Award for Animated Short Film and was voted #22 of the 50 Greatest Cartoons of all time in 1994. The shorts effectively launched Donald Duck from sidekick to superstar, starring in 100 animated shorts between 1943-1961. Still, Disney has worked hard to keep this one out of circulation. We guess Donald enthusiastically doing the Heil Hitler at 1:56 is the sort of thing that could be taken out of context.
#4. Ren and Stimpy's Oar Beating Special
Ren and Stimpy was by far the most controversial cartoon of the late 80s and early 90s, starring a rage-filled Chihuahua named Ren and a functionally retarded cat named Stimpy. Created by John Kricfalusi, the show aired on Nickelodeon for the sole purpose of traumatizing children and pissing off parental groups. It flaunted gross-out humor, implied homosexuality, sexual innuendos, profanity and brutal and imitable violence. Depending on your point of view, this was either wildly irresponsible, or totally fucking sweet.
For years the show danced the tightrope of what was too much to put on children's television until Kricfalusi basically said, "Fuck it," and had Ren savagely beat a man half to death with a boat oar in the episode "Man's Best Friend." Here it is as part of a clip that somebody inexplicably patched together featuring Ren plucking nerve endings out of his mouth for the first 30 seconds.
What The Fuck?
Holy shit. Ren was really into beating the crap out of that dude.
It manages to be unsettling even on a medium where people getting smacked in the head with shovels is commonplace. It'd be like if Rosie the Robot decided to decorate the Jetson's home with their internal organs.
"These walls could use a new coat of blood"
When Nickelodeon saw this clip in the episode, they lost their shit. They refused to air it, and then proceeded to fire Kricfalusi, citing the violence level in the show and missing deadlines (for not turning the violence in on time, we guess). That's right, they deemed this clip so brutally violent that they fired someone over it.
This episode was banned from all broadcast and not seen in any format until it showed up on Spike TV in 2003 as part of the ill-fated (read: shitty) Ren and Stimpy "Adult Party Cartoon," where it only aired once and can only be found on DVD. If you feel your life is lacking brutal cartoon violence by a gay dog beating the shit out of people with wooden objects, then you might want to hunt this gem down.
#3. Pokemon Gets Seizure-riffic
Unless you have been in a coma for the last decade or, likewise, incapacitated (we do know a lot of folks in the early 90s were into heroin), you know about Pokemon, Nintendo's lovable series about owning little animals and making them beat the tar out each other in kid-friendly cockfights.
Oh, and it's a fucking merchandising empire.
Life seems very good in the world of Pokemon as it continues to make enough money to support Nintendo for the next 50 years, but it almost died in Japan even before it hit the states in 1998 when just four seconds of the episode "Electric Soldier Porygon" made kids black out and go into convulsions (warning: Below is the actual seizure-inducing clip. Watch with caution):
What The Fuck?
We don't recommend watching that multiple times in a row unless you want to feel like someone drove a pickaxe through your fucking skull. It's like your eyes are being raped by a cartoon animal.
The episode sent 685 Japanese children to the hospital for everything from headaches and nausea to seizures, which were dubbed "Pokemon Shock" by the Japanese media. It was immediately followed by outrage and protests from parents, which we hope involved Samurais.
Are stereotypes still wrong when they're awesome?
The show was soon put on a four-month long hiatus and after it came back, "Electric Solider Porygon" was not only banned from air in Japan but was also never broadcasted or distributed in any other country. Somehow they made due with the other 500-plus fucking episodes they've produced.
#2. Fred Flintstone: Cancer Merchant
The Flintstones was Hanna-Barbera's animated attempt to see how badly they could rip off The Honeymooners before anyone would notice, and find out just how many rock-related puns they could shove down America's throat in the process.
Despite that, it became one of the most influential cartoons ever produced. It had a solid 6-year run from 1960-1966 and was the first show, let alone cartoon, on ABC shown in color. It also was the first cartoon on TV meant to appeal to the whole family instead of just children, even being aired in ABC's prime time slots. Without them we wouldn't have things like The Simpsons, Family Guy or cartoon women that give us boners.
You know you want to hit that.
The other thing that The Flintstones gave us was this classic ad for Winston Cigarettes that right smack in the middle of each episode, blowing smoke in your face much like that douche standing in front of an office building trying to cure his nicotine fix:
What the Fuck?
It's awesome how much political incorrectness they were able to jam into these spots. First the men were being total lazy pricks while they let the women do all the work, and when guilt hit them over that fact, instead of offering them help they just moved somewhere less depressing for a smoke break. All of that before Fred comes right out and basically says, "Smoke these kids, they are fucking awesome, and make sure they are Winston, or else you suck and nobody will love you anymore."
After the first two seasons of The Flintstones, Winston Cigarettes was moved out of their sponsorship and replaced with the more family friendly and less cancerous Welch's grape juice, and the show continued having its merry success and became a household name in animation. As for the tobacco folks, they kept plugging products on prime time television until 1971 when tobacco ads were banned from television. As for using cartoon character to advertise cigarettes, of course they kept right on doing it.
#1. Bugs Bunny Does Blackface
Who comes to mind when you think of cartoons? Bugs Fuckin' Bunny, that's who. Bugs Bunny is the figurehead and most popular character of the Looney Toons and Merrie Melodies Warner Bros. cartoons, and is one of the true icons of American animation. In fact, he was named #1 on TV Guide's "50 Greatest Cartoon Characters" list. Up your ass, Mickey Mouse.
Bugs has it all: sarcastic wit, perfectly timed slapstick, an odd fixation on cross dressing, the love of millions worldwide and the racial sensitivity of the Imperial Wizard of the KKK. Take a look at this clip from "Southern Fried Rabbit":
What The Fuck?
Yeah, the whole rolling around the ground in blackface screaming "Don't beat me, massa!" ain't exactly subtle.
In his career as a two-dimensional rabbit, Bugs managed to offend pretty much everyone, from blacks to American Indians to Eskimos to the Japanese (actually calling them "slant-eyes" in the Bugs Bunny Nips The Nips episode). Yes, that was the title.
Countless Merrie Melodies and Looney Toons cartoons like these have either been heavily edited or flat-out dropped from the air. History doesn't seem to judge Bugs any more harshly for it, since the episodes were from "a different time." This would apparently be a time when nothing was more hilarious than being something other than white.
Will the world judge us so harshly 50 years from now? Since that apparently doesn't stop you from getting filthy rich off of a merchandizing bonanza, we really don't care.
For questionable decisions made by live-action famous people, check out 20 Celebrity Lives (In Flowchart Form). Once all those celebrities have you hankering for some drugs, check out Robert Brockway's look at 5 Real Ways to Get High Straight Out of Science Fiction.