We’ve entered an era where cartoons are slowly starting to have their social stigma removed. They’re not directed solely to children anymore, some concrete examples being South Park and Family Guy, which are, very much so, shows aimed at adults in the rightful sense. In other words, it’s never been both easier and harder to make it big in the cartoon industry.
Why the latter part? That’s because parents are paying attention to the content that their child is being exposed to more than ever, making sure that no harm, especially moral, could come out of it. And you know what? They really should because you won’t believe what the following 10 Banned Cartoons Made For Children were depicting.
Image Courtesy of OLM.inc
While Pokemon itself wasn’t banned in its entirety (people would definitely riot), there was an episode that was, to put it euphemistically, very controversial. An episode called Electric Soldier Porygon was taken off Japanese televisions after 700 people, elderly and children alike, suddenly experiences seizures, vomiting, and loss of consciousness.
This was because of a particular scene where Pikachu creates an electric explosion, which depicted flashy transitions from the color red to blue. The episode was never broadcasted afterward, causing the show to go on hiatus for four months and authorities to take harsh precautions when they imported the cartoon to the USA.
#2 Dexter’s Laboratory
Considered to be one of the best products of Golden Era Cartoon Network, Dexter’s Laboratory was, as a whole, a show that delighted numerous children worldwide. However, creator Hanna-Barbera definitely made the poorest of choices when producing two particular episodes.
One of them, called Dial M for Monkey, was riddled with parodies of famous superheroes. Silver Spooner, the satirical version of Fantastic Four’s Silver Surfer, was basically a walking exhibition of homosexual stereotypes. It doesn’t end here, as the parody depiction of Hulk shocked everyone when he appeared on screen with a drinking problem.
The other episode, called Rude Removal, featured a pair of Dexter and DeeDee clones that offended everyone through cascades of obscene lines and swears. They were bleeped, but that clearly wasn’t good enough.
#3 Peppa Pig
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Peppa Pig is one of the hottest cartoons of the moment for little children. Unlike some of the entries on this list, there weren’t any immoral messages that got the episode Mister Skinnylegs banned. This actually happened because it aimed to teach children that spiders aren’t that terrifying and that we shouldn’t kill them.
It was a nice message and all… unless you’re an Australian. The episode was removed from Australian televisions because it encouraged kids to get close to spiders which, in Australia, are venomous enough to actually kill you.
What could possibly go wrong with a Disney spinoff cartoon series featuring the characters from The Jungle Book? In theory, nothing. Truth to be told, everything was fine until the airing of the cartoon’s final episode, Flying Dupes.
In this episode, Baloo transports a bomb via plane to a foreign country, in hopes that the bombing would cause a war to break out, which in turn would raise the profits of bomb producers. Everything that was wrong with this episode – terrorist message, bombs on planes, genocide, and war – ultimately and unsurprisingly got this episode banned permanently.
#5 Tiny Toons
Image Courtesy of Warner Bros. Animation
If you were expecting older Bugs Bunny to be the one to get himself banned, you were wrong. The cartoon featuring younger versions of popular Looney Tunes characters caught the eye of censors when it broadcasted one particular episode.
In One Beer, the underage characters find a bottle of beer, drink it, get drunk, and then steal a car and start driving around. To end on an even more disturbing note, the characters eventually drive the vehicle off a cliff and die. We’re sure that the “don’t drink and drive” message can wait a few more years, isn’t that right?
#6 Song of the South
An animated musical film produced in 1946 by Walt Disney, Song of the South really left viewers with a bitter aftertaste because of its depiction of master-slave relationships in post-Civil War Georgia. The cartoon showcases several slaves happily singing about their duties on the plantation and managed to offend, understandably, quite a lot of people through its idyllic imagery.
Image Courtesy of Walt Disney Television Animation
Gargoyles was a critically acclaimed cartoon series that truly confirmed the saying “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” Wanting to raise some warning flags on the matter of gun control and violence, the episode Deadly Force dealt with this issue in a highly controversial way. When Broadway shoots Elisa by accident with a gun considered to be a toy, the latter is afterward showed lying in a pool of her own blood.
The episode was initially banned, then re-aired in a censored version, and finally re-released fully and unedited in the DVD form.
#8 Betty Boop
No, it wasn’t the iconic black-and-white era character that was banned, but the episode Ha! Ha! Ha! If the title wasn’t an immediate giveaway that something fishy was going on, know that the episode featured a bunch of inanimate objects cackling hysterically as a result of a laughing gas leak – gravestones included. It wasn’t morally ambiguous or anything, but it was creepy enough to make it look like something that nightmares are made of.
#9 Ren & Stimpy
Image Courtesy of Games Animation
Ren & Stimpy was one of those cartoons aimed at children that managed to get away with inserting several controversial adult jokes – albeit, through constant fights with censors. One episode, however, Man’s Best Friend, stretched the humor beyond its limits. Depicting Ren brutally beating another character with an oar, the graphicness of this episode allegedly got the show’s writer fired.
#10 Cow & Chicken
Cow & Chicken was never a tame cartoon to begin with, featuring content that was, a lot of the time, questionable, at the very least. One particular episode, titled Buffalo Gals, drew a lot of gasps from parents and censors upon them realizing that it depicted lesbian subtext and plenty of slang terms for intercourse.