Censored

When times and social attitudes outwardly changed, so did animated features. While in most cases offensive parts were simply cut, United Artists decided to withheld ten of the Merrie Melodies and one of the Looney Tunes. The racism of those features lives on in better disguised stereotypes as well as in the negotiation of its historical existence. The Dirty-Dozen-Minus-One known as Censored Eleven has not been officially broadcast since their ban in 1968. Less out of politico-social regret as of embarrassment over one’s own cordial welcome of racist stereotypes? Out of fear the originally never targeted infantine viewers might imitate such demeanor and other banned behavior as cursing, drinking, drug use, sexually loose or unruly behavior? So, is racism no more than a bad habit like swearing or smoking, insuitable for children, but suitable for adults and, as drinking alcohol, in a certain environment perfectly acceptable? Had the awareness of it better be literally cut from social conscience? Why were those controversial cartoons excluded from the „Golden Age of Looney Tunes“-DVD series while other animated films with blatant racist and sexist content are praised (Walt Disney) Masterpieces? See for Yourself.

 

Hittin‘ the Trail for Hallelujah Land

Director: Rudy Ising
Country/ Year: USA 1931
Tagged: Rudolf Ising Merrie Melodies



Protagonist Piggy’s parody on “Steamboat Willie” with female friend Fluffy, minstrel music and  alligator accompaniment, stirring to an altogether with Uncle Tom.

 

Sunday Go to Meetin‘ Time

Director: Friz Freleng
Country/ Year: USA 1936, 1944 (reissue)
Tagged: Friz Freleng Merrie Melodies



„Shootin‘ craps, stealin‘ chickens, missin‘ church, raisin‘ dickens“ – but after that it´s off to church for Nicodemus, who literally wakes up to the primeness of piety.

 

Clean Pastures

Director: Fritz Freleng
Country/ Year:  USA 1937
Tagged: Merrie Melodies



Caricature Cab Calloway together with fellow music icons  Louis Armstrong, Fats Waller and Jimmie Lunceford and they’ll jazz up any watermelon-serving-value-proposition and make it a Haven.

 

Uncle Tom’s Bungalow

Director: Tex Avery
Country/ Year: USA 1937
Tagged:



„My body may belong to you, but my soul belongs to Warner Bros.!“, quips on of the caricatures so why not draw a verbatim cartoon of Harriet Beecher Stow’s novel with them?

 

Jungle Jitters

Director: Fritz Freleng
Country/ Year: USA 1938
Tagged: Merrie Melodies



This jungle jamboree throws a dogged salesman into the hands of black cannibals who’s white queen is that kind of man-eater that makes her prospective partner do the cooking.

 

All This and Rabbit Stew

Director: Tex Avery
Country/ Year: USA 1938, 1944 (reissue)
Tagged: Merrie Melodies



The very last of the Merrie Melodies directed by Tex Avery has Bugs Bunny run with hares and hunt with the hounds, here represented by an ebony Elmer Fudd.

 

The Isle of Pingo Pongo

Director: Tex Avery
Country/ Year: USA 1938
Tagged: Merrie Melodies



Elmer Fudds second screen-adventure leads the hapless hunter to the titular island where he hits on the savage roots of jazz as well as a band of savage stereotypes.

 

Coal Black and de Sebben Dwarfs (working title: So White and de Sebben Dwarfs)

Director: Bob Clampett
Country/ Year: USA 1943
Tagged: Merrie Melodies



Five years after Walt Disney’s animated fairy tale Clambetts illustriously scored satire sings small to racist low-level-klichees but talks big, also with the voice of Dorothy Dandridge’s mother Ruby.

 

Tin Pan Alley Cats

Director: Bob Clampett
Country/ Year: USA 1943
Tagged: Merrie Melodies



„You is out of this world!“, notes a Wannabe-Fats-Waller in this loose lesson about the dangers of cartoonish Cotton-Clubbing with hilarious hepcats and the terrible trio of Tojo, Stalin and Hitler.

 

Angel Puss

Director: Chuck Jones
Country/ Year: 1944
Tagged: Looney Tunes



„And this time, brother, us ain’t kiddin‘.“, threatens one out of a line of nine ghost cats that little black Sambo created brings upon himself when earning blood money as hare-brained hit man.

 

Goldilocks and the Jivin‘ Bears

Director: Fritz Freleng
Country/ Year: 1944, 1951 (reissue)
Tagged: Merrie Melodies



The Three Bears burn their instruments in a jam session and Little Red Riding Hood is on fire for patriotic work so the Big Bad Wolf adapts to the war-time-conditions and settles for Goldilocks.