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Cartoon Crazys - Banned & Censored
Cartoon Crazys - Banned Censored
Genres: Documentary, Animation
NR     2001     1hr 50min

See many of the cartoons which were censored and banned forever from theaters and television with a full description of why and copies of the laws and resolutions which made the screen safe for America.


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Movie Details

Genres: Documentary, Animation
Sub-Genres: Documentary, Animation
Studio: Winstar
Format: DVD - Color - Animated
DVD Release Date: 01/09/2001
Release Year: 2001
Run Time: 1hr 50min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Off the mark
raceyman | Calgary, AB Canada | 02/14/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)

"This DVD stands out as a good historical collection of "banned and censored" cartoons, for this reason it stands out as a priceless look the history of animation, and societal views.If the producers of this DVD, however, had assembled this collection with the intent of preserving history, then this DVD would have been more worth the cost. As it stands, it is not. The producers have taken the liberty of adding sound effects to all of the cartoons to improve the fidelity of, often, poor audio quality - this, in effect, is added (unwanted) commentary. They should have left these gems of entertainment history alone, and not included new sound effects. It is true that the video quality of many of the cartoons are poor, however we are talking about cartoons that are 60-70 (and more) years old - animation techniques were still relatively new. I would have prefered if the producers had attempted to improve the video quality over adding sound effects.As for content it's easy to understand why these titles were banned in their day (racial stereotypes, cruelty to animals, sexual content), yet some of the choices, and explanations given, for some "banned" items is sketchy (no pun intended) at best. A good example of this are the two "Sergeant Snafu" cartoons ("Booby Traps" and "Spies"), which were clearly created for the military and not for general public consumption, and are a brilliant example of the type of entertainment provided to the military even today (frankly, Bob Hope was often more controversial than these cartoons).If you are a serious collector of the history of animation, this DVD is a must buy, despite the poor video quality and added sound effects. If you are merely looking for "banned and censored" type videos, then your money may be better spent elsewhere."
A great collection, but mis-titled!
Beverly Conolly | New South Wales, Australia | 12/22/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Cartoon Crazys Banned & Censored is a collection of 13 cartoons from various animation studios including Warner, Max Fleischer and Walter Lantz, created in a period from around 1933-1947. It's a fine assortment of styles for anyone interested in American cultural history and who can bear to see shameless stereotypes of African-Americans and Irish immigrants and who can endure some pretty full-on sexism.

However, the implication of the title of this collection is that these cartoons were too racy or hot for the Hayes Office at the time and were either banned or censored when they were new. I doubt it. Perhaps a more accurate title would have been "Politically Incorrect & Culturally Irrelevant Cartoons".

Of course, any thinking person has to deplore the racist stereotypes of fat, black mammies and their pickaninnies (of which there are more than their fair share to be found here), but the strongest sexual content is the suggestion of a slap to the backside of a cigarette girl. We see her reaction, but not the contact. Bad, yes, but hardly meriting a "ban", particularly in the late 1940s.

The notes on each cartoon, which are included as an extra on the disk, give a list of why this cartoon was deemed to be Banned or Censored, but again, I have doubts as to these being the reason that these cartoon are no longer seen; mostly, they have limited modern appeal. Many are black-and-white and most are simple moral tales that wouldn't appeal to 21st Century audiences.

In "Christmas Night" for example - which features The Little King - the disk notes that there are "homosexual overtones" in the king stripping to his underwear and with three cartoon characters in the bath together, scrubbing up, prior to the arrival of Santa Claus. Watching this cartoon, I couldn't see any such suggestion. Not a one of the characters touched the other and it was made plain that each was wearing shorts throughout the sequence.

That said, the notes are correct in pointing out that some scenes are simply disturbing and no longer appropriate as entertainment, such as in "Be Human", a mid-30s Betty Boop in which a very angry farmer repeatedly whips a tethered dog and horse, punches a cow in the face and throttles a non-laying hen. The required "happy ending" sees the farmer whipped as he runs along a treadmill, which powers various devices for making the farm animals' lives more enjoyable. He cries and moans and Betty and Grampy chortle at his pain. This one is just strange.

Other cartoons in this collection are:

"Little Black Sambo", which is a fairly lame story of a black boy skipping through the forest, and chased back home by a tiger. Aside from it being a later cartoon by Ub Iwerks, not that notable.

"Booby Traps" and "Spies", two short cartoon features were made for the US military use during WWII. The entire series of Private Snafu is available elsewhere (and recommended). There are the usual, unflattering wartime stereotypes in these two, which is presumably why it's included in the collection.

"Ha! Ha! Ha!" from 1933 sees Betty Boop and Koko release laughing gas into their cartoon, then out the window into the real New York City, which makes for a fascinating mix of animation and live action, as we get to see New Yorkers going about their business on real streets of the era. The notes suggest that this made the collection for showing drug-taking in a positive light.

"Cupid Gets His Man" is just plain strange. A colour cartoon from the late-1930s, the plot involves an army of cupids attempting to matchmake two quarrelling neighbours, one of whom is clearly modeled on WC Fields, right down to his saying "my little chickadee". The cupids are, indeed, naked from the waist down, as noted on the disk, but if there is anything sexual suggested by that, I missed it.

"Opening Night" is a clear rip-off of Mickey Mouse; in fact, if you squint, you might mistake Cubby Bear for Mickey, circa 1930. This is included because one of the characters gets his head cut off with a sword and another bounces off the roomy bosom of a female opera star.

"Scrub Me Mama With a Boogie Beat" is the gem of the collection, racism and all. Yes, the entire population of Lazy Town is black, but overlook the stereotyping and enjoy the boogie woogie! Not included in the notes on this cartoon is the oozing sexuality of the visiting singer, with her wiggly breasts and see-through skirts.

"Fresh Vegetable Mystery" is one of those many inanimate-objects-come-to-life cartoons that popped up throughout the 1930s, the big "mystery" being "Who stole the carrots?" Irish caricatures throughout.

"Making Stars" is another Betty Boop with baby entertainers performing for a theatre crowd. Some babies are non-white and again, stereotyped.

"In a Cartoon Studio" is a very early sound cartoon, interesting only for the clear novelty of synchronized sound to the animators and audience. Included, according to the notes, because the female character gets physically abused for rejecting the bad guy's advances.

The final cartoon is "Easy Does It", a 20-minute animated ad for the Stokely-Van Camp food company, probably made just after the second world war. Although it does feature some sexism - there are intertwining plots involving a failing grocery store and a young man in love with the grocer's daughter - it's nothing that wasn't done far worse in the 1950s in "I Love Lucy". Not worth banning or censoring, the reason this one hasn't seen the light in 50 years or so is more likely to be that it's intended audience is really small-town shopkeepers. I can imagine this one being shown at a Midwestern canned-food conference in 1947, but not many other places.

This is a great collection, and truly interesting on a variety of levels, but don't be fooled by the title: there's nothing here that was ever banned or censored."
Classic cartoons - for all the wrong reasons!
Lee David Glover | Plymouth, Devon United Kingdom | 12/29/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)

"The people from Winstar must be congratulated for their brave decision in releasing this DVD, as this will keep you entertained and makes you think at the same time.
As the title suggests, all the cartoons have been banned because of their "offensive" content, from the downright obvious (racial stereotypes, animal cruelty) to others that you may not think about while watching (each cartoon has a list of why it is banned). These cartoons were made during the different attitudes and tastes of the 30's and 40's, and, in most cases, no malice was ever intended by the cartoon studios.
The quality of these cartoons ranges from excellent to downright poor, but Winstar treats these cartoons better than most video companies (Yes, in England, we have the same problem of third-rate bargain-basement cartoon videos as well!).
What is great about this DVD is the inclusion of black and white cartoons, which includes Betty Boop and cartoons from the Van Beuren studios. I've always believe that black and white does not mean it is not entertaining!
This DVD is a must for all animation fans, but bear in mind that these cartoons could offend and must be viewed with an open mind. Some of these cartoons are difficult to defend, but, as a whole, it is one of my favourite animation DVDs."
Better than most 'Cartoon Crazys' titles on DVD
J. Williams | Mildlands, UK. | 08/05/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This collection of cartoons is appropriately included on Cartoon Crazys `Banned & Censored' DVD release - and for good reason too. This is the `type' of release that the Disney Empire would love to be able to release so that it could do justice to the wonderful Song of the South and animated shorts like the banned Fuhrer's Face.Anyone interested in cartoon history or indeed the progression of the cartoon industry would do well to purchase this title. In keeping with the intention of the release the content features blatant stereotyping and risqué material and should not be viewed by those of a sensitive disposition.In summary, treat this DVD as a dose of cartoon history and you won't be disappointed - 13 fantastic shorts with enough taboo about them to be classed as `banned and censored' - not quite an animated Lady Chatterley's Lover, but it'll do."