Cartoons, for the most of us, bring back fond memories of cereal and Saturday mornings. They made us laugh and took us on amazing adventures. Most cartoons are tailor-made to be appropriate for all audiences. However, every now and then, a cartoon is so offensive that a studio bans it from airing on television or releasing on home video. Here are 25 Banned Cartoons You Won’t Believe Were Made.
Pokemon - "Electric Solider Porygon"
Pokemon was at the height of its popularity when it released the episode “Electric Soldier Porygon.” The episode’s story was harmless, but that wasn’t what the problem was. Sounding like a bad creepypasta, during one of the scenes with Ash and Pikachu, a sudden strobing of red and blue lights hit the screen to create a certain effect. It had the unintended consequence of sending 700 children to the hospital. Their symptoms varied from blurred vision to nausea and, in some extreme cases, temporary blindness. Many were also diagnosed with epilepsy after watching. Needless to say, it was pulled from television programming and never aired again.
Goldilocks and the Jivin' Bears
Written by Tedd Pierce and directed by Fred Freleng, Goldilocks and the Jivin’ Bears was initially released by Warner Bros. under their Merrie Melodies cartoon series. It was later banned due to the racist stereotypes of African Americans portrayed by the three bears.
Tiny Toons Adventures - "One Beer"
The popular 90’s cartoon Tiny Toon Adventures also fell prey to pushing the envelope a little too far. In their episode, “One Beer,” Buster and his friends decide to steal a beer out of their parent’s fridge and proceed to goad each other into drinking it. The explicit content was deemed too inappropriate for kids; the episode was banned from airing on television. However, they did include it in the DVD release.
Uncle Tom's Bungalow
Another banned Merrie Melody cartoon by Warner Bros., Uncle Tom’s Bungalow is a parody of the book Uncle Tom’s Cabin, featuring awful racist stereotypes of African Americans. It’s included in what many call the “Censored 11,” a list of banned cartoons due to insensitive material.
Peppa Pig - "Mr. Skinnylegs"
A show beloved by toddlers everywhere, Peppa Pig once found itself in hot water after talking about spiders. Yes, spiders. A complainant in Australia quickly called the ABC network to tell them the episode “Mr. Skinnylegs” told children that spiders are not to be feared. Australia has some of the most poisonous spiders in the world. The network quickly apologized and pulled the episode from its programming schedule.
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Dexter's Laboratory - "Rude Removal"
Originally part of season 2, Dexter’s Laboratory’s “Rude Removal” episode took the use of language a little too far. In the story, Dexter creates two of his sister. One is a sweet and kind Dee, while the other is an evil, profane Dee Dee. Let’s just say the evil Dee Dee used plenty of four letter words. It ended up getting the episode banned.
The Isle of Pingo Pongo
Made in 1938 by Warner Bros., the Isle of Pingo Pongo is a spoof by Tex Avery…one of many by him. However, in 1968, United Artists, the owner at the time, banned it from syndicating on television. Like many of the other “Censored 11,” it was banned for its racist stereotypes of African Americans.
Sailor Moon - "Neptune and Uranus"
When Sailor Moon hit American shores, it became a huge hit, but not many realize western countries made a few changes besides the audio dubbing. In Japan, the characters Neptune and Uranus were lovers. So, the episodes with heavy romance plots involving these two were either never aired or DIC changed their status to “cousins.” This made the scenes where they flirted pretty awkward.
Dudley Do Right - "Stokey the Bear"
In the episode “Stokey the Bear,” Dudley Do Right tries to stop a hypnotized bear from starting fires in the forest. While that may seem fine, it didn’t sit well with The U.S. Forestry Service. They complained it was a representation of its own character, Smokey the Bear. The episode was pulled after one airing.
Tailspin - "Flying Dupes"
Tailspin aired in the 1990’s; it was about Baloo the Bear flying around on various adventures with his friends. In the episode “Flying Dupes,” Baloo faces off against terrorists. It’s these themes of terrorism which banned it from ever re-airing. However, it did accidentally re-air on Toon Disney in 1999.
Like 90’s cartoon’s? Check out 25 90’s Cartoons You May Remember.
Mighty Mouse: The New Adventures - "The Littlest Tramp"
Mighty Mouse: The New Adventures aired on CBS in 1987 and featured some edgier cartoons for kids. Many believe it was the pre-cursor to Ren and Stimpy, among others. However, the episode “The Littlest Tramp” put it in hot water. In this episode, Mighty Mouse looked like he was snorting cocaine. The creator insisted it was just a crushed up flower, but parents protested. CBS was forced to pull the episode and never show it again.
Arthur - "Room to Ride"
Once it was revealed Lance Armstrong had been doping, PBS Kids pulled their Lance Armstrong episode of Arthur called, “Room to Ride.”
"Bugs Bunny Nips the Nips"
Another old World War II era Merrie Melodies cartoon with racially insensitive material is called “Bugs Bunny Nips the Nips.” It’s about Bugs Bunny washing ashore on an island where he is chased after by Japanese soldiers. It was also banned by Warner Bros. for having racist stereotypes of the Japanese. Somehow it still ended up in 1990’s VHS re-releases. They were quickly pulled from the shelves due to complaints.
All This and Rabbit Stew
All This and Rabbit Stew was another early Warner Bros. Merrie Melodies cartoon featuring Bugs Bunny. Directed by Tex Avery, the story involves Bugs Bunny heckling an African American hunter. It originally released in the theater. However, it was later banned by Ted Turner for its racist stereotypes of African Americans.
Mister Roger's Neighborhood - "Conflict"
In November 1983, five episodes on Mister Roger’s Neighborhood aired. They were called “Conflict” and featured two parties stockpiling bombs against each other. It was a huge swipe against the Cold War and Russia and the United States. Those episodes only aired once and were rarely seen again.
Gargoyles - "Deadly Force"
Dealing with the theme of gun safety is usually a tightrope walk. Gargoyles, unfortunately, fell in their episode “Deadly Force.” It was pulled from rotation when a woman was killed and you can see her full body lying on the ground in a pool of blood. However, later, the episode was allowed to air when they edited her death to remove the blood and just show a close-up of her face.
Ren and Stimpy - "Man's Best Friend"
Ren and Stimpy never shied away from pushing the envelope, but apparently “Man’s Best Friend” was too much for Nickelodeon to handle; it never aired on the network. It even ended up getting the creator, John Kricfalusi, fired from the studio. Nickelodeon specifically didn’t like the violence portrayed by Ren. He repeatedly hit his owner over the head and there were several references to tobacco.
Coal Black and De Sebben Dwarfs
Clearly, Warner Bros. Merrie Melodies has an ugly past with several racist cartoons. Coal Black and De Sebben Dwarfs is arguably one of the worst. The title alone speaks for itself. Like the other cartoons, it features several racial stereotypes of African Americans and was banned by United Artists in the 60’s.
Tin Pan Alley Cats
Tin Pan Alley Cats was another “Censored 11” cartoon by Warner Bros. Much like the others, it parodied African American culture and presented gross racial stereotypes. It featured a “Fat Waller” alley cat who leaves the mission in order to join the local jazz club.
Family Guy - "Wish Upon a Weinstein"
Family Guy is known for its raunchy and edgy humor, constantly pushing the envelope. However, according to Fox, it went one step too far in its banned episode, “Wish Upon a Weinstein.” Fox considered it anti-semetic especially for the musical number involving Peter singing offensive lyrics.
Song of the South
While not technically “banned,” Song of the South has been constantly mired in controversy for its depiction of African Americans. It’s also been criticized for its ambiguous nature regarding racial relations in the south, making them seem much more harmonious than reality. In 2010, Disney’s CEO Robert Iger called the movie “antiquated” and “rather offensive.” It’s been locked away in the Disney vault for some time. It is unlikely to ever be re-released again.
Commissioned by the BBC 3 network, the cartoon Popetown proved too controversial when British Catholics were up in arms over the treatment of the Pope and the Vatican. It never aired on the network but was released on DVD instead.
Beavis and Butthead - "Comedians"
While Beavis and Butthead thrived on idiotic comedy gags, the episode “Comedians” did something they weren’t expecting. It influenced a five-year-old to burn down his own house with his sister inside; the episode said burning things was fun. MTV quickly removed the episode and banned it from ever airing again.
Futurama - "A Tale of Two Santas"
Due to its profanity and violence, Fox decided the Futurama episode “A Tale of Two Santas” wasn’t right for the 7 pm time slot. They delayed it for over a year. Creator David X. Cohen considered this their “lost episode” but said it was later aired at a different time slot.
Cow and Chicken - "Buffalo Gals"
Originally airing in 1998 on the Cartoon Network, the Cow and Chicken episode “Buffalo Gals” was banned for its sexual innuendo regarding lesbians. After it aired, a parent called and complained about the frequent and inappropriate innuendo. Cartoon Network quickly pulled it from the schedule and replaced it with “Orthodontic Police.”
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