5 Old Children's Cartoons Way Darker Than Most Horror Movies

#2. Balloon Land (1935) -- Condom People vs. The Masturbating Monster

Right from the title screen, this 1935 cartoon by Ub Iwerks (aka the guy who co-created Mickey Mouse) lets you know there's going to be a somewhat disturbing recurrent motif in the story. Let's see if you can spot it.


Hint: It's dicks.

Balloon Land supposedly takes place in a world populated by living balloons, and judging by the above image, they're of the penis-wrapping kind. The story begins with the balloon people squeezing rubber out of a living tree and placing that rubber on a machine that shapes it into a little balloon boy and a little balloon girl.

These balloon kids haven't been alive for five seconds when a man warns them, through a song, that if they go into the forest, they'll run into a creature that will "rip your skin." The children, being children (and idiots), decide to do exactly that anyway, and that's when they run across the Pincushion Man, who looks like ... wait, what ... what's he doing now?

Oh sweet Jesus. Apparently the Pincushion Man was supposed to look like a giant safety pin (or at least that's what Mr. Iwerks told the police), but the animators didn't quite know what to do with the huge metal rod protruding from his hip, and so they decided it would be appropriate if he yanked it in front of little children.


"Don't worry, there's no way anyone will ever take this out of context."

Besides being a pervert, the Pincushion Man is also a certified psychopath who goes around Balloon Land murdering people by poking them with his big sharp stick -- like this completely innocent racial stereotype, whose only crime was letting the children hide in his house:

Pincushion Man goes on a murderous rampage all over the city -- the citizens send an entire Balloon Men Army to stop him, but they turn out to be exactly as useful as their name implies. Eventually, the citizens figure out that they can harm the Pincushion Man by hauling raw rubber at him, pushing him out of Balloon Land until he literally plummets to his death.


Yippie-ki-yay, motherfucker.

#1. Swing You Sinners! (1930) -- Bad Acid Cartoon Hell

Officially, LSD was first produced in 1938. We say "officially" because this cartoon says it's from 1930, and there's no way it was created without massive doses of acid being pumped into everyone involved.

Swing You Sinners! starts like every other cartoon from its era, with a cartoon dog trying to steal a chicken and being chased by a fat cop. While escaping, our protagonist runs into a graveyard ... and that's when the terror begins.

It turns out that everything in this graveyard is alive, including the dead things. Especially the dead things. For starters, the gate grows a mouth and swallows its own key, which is never a good sign.


What will it grow if it wants to give it back?

Just the gate mouth alone would be terrifying enough, but unfortunately it's about to get much worse: More mouths open in the ground and try to swallow up the protagonist as the headstones come alive and surround him, telling him how terrible he is. Even more unfortunately, it's all in the form of jazz blues.

The protagonist tries to escape and only comes across more and more deranged beings from the darkest depths of the imagination, which condemn him for the "chickens he used to steal ... craps he used to shoot ... girls he used to chase." Wait, that's it? That's all this cartoon doggie did to deserve being subjected to this horror?

The protagonist runs into a barn where the insanity steps it up a notch. First he's harassed by inanimate objects clearly possessed by demons and a giant version of the chicken from the beginning, who starts scatting uncontrollably at him, Leland Palmer style:

Then his underwear floats off and turns into a ghost who tries to cut his throat, which frankly is something we never thought we'd see outside of a Japanese cartoon:


Ghost Pantsu Panic Go! is very popular in Japan.

He runs back outside, but the entire barn turns into ghoulish faces straight out of '70s poster art:

Our hero is chased into a cave by an endless column of ghosts, and here the cartoon stops fucking around and just goes into full-blown drug-fueled insanity. It contains, we swear to God, a frog thing inexplicably feeling itself up in a way that it is impossible to think of as anything other than opium chills ...

... a giant skeleton hand that beheads the protagonist with a knife ...

... and finally a giant, horrifying skull face that swallows him.

That's the last thing you see in the cartoon and, if you watch this late at night, ever. Man, we're never stealing another chicken again.

Jim Ciscell is the author of Boofy Comics. You can find Vincent Pall judging the Craptions Contests and on his YouTube channel.

For other instances of terrifying old-timeyness, check out 7 Songs From Your Grandpa's Day That Would Make Eminem Blush and 6 Famous Artists You Didn't Know Were Perverts.

If you're pressed for time and just looking for a quick fix, then check out 3 Racist Incidents That Weren't Actually Racist.

And stop by LinkSTORM to discover your grandaddy's porn stash.

And don't forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to get sexy, sexy jokes sent straight to your news feed.

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