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Cartoon Culture

“Cartoons Kick Ass”

Somebody recently posted (in four parts) the entire British Channel 4 TV program Cartoons Kick Ass. This special was taped in 2000 and as far as I know only aired once, late in the evening, and never seen beyond Great Britain. It includes interviews with John Kricfalusi, J.J. Sedelmaier, Ralph Bakshi, Mike Judge, ASIFA-SF’s Karl Cohen (author of Forbidden Animation, which I believe was the basis of the program), animation historians Bill Moritz, Paul Wells and me. It dared to include X-rated animation and other images that can offend, so assume that it is NSFW.

Part 1 is embed below. Click here to see Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4.

  • the biggest thing that disturbed me was all of those darn propaganda cartoons.

  • forgot to mention that a lot of male cartoon duos are being accused of being gay, now I saw that Tom and Jerry was, how ridicluious.

  • Richard

    Officially scarred for life.

  • I remember seeing this the one time it aired during a whole week of animation programming Channel 4 did at that time. They showed a TON of short films late every night of that week, and I taped most of it but the tapes are of course long gone now. Glad to finally get to watch this again.

  • Thanks for pointing this out!

    Although whoever shot the live action made Jerry and JJ look awful – why the “Nosferatu” lighting?

    It was nice to see Karl Cohen and Bill Moritz, too. Their lighting was slightly better!

    Mr American Family is a cartoon himself – since this was made in Britain I suppose it shows how crazy this country can be – a popular view in Europe!

  • I remember Jerry sending a copy of this to me as a teenager saying, “Don’t let your parents see that!”

  • Phil

    I’m a bit surprised(disappointed even)there was no mention of the Simspsons through-out the entire program. But that could just be due to legal reasons.

    And I couldn’t agree more; Cartoons Kick Ass!

  • Justin Delbert

    Everyone always say that back then everything was humble. No they were not, they were just as dirty. It is just easier to express dirty jokes or content today (internet for example) than it was back then.

  • This is an excellent video. I especially like the German animator Hans Fischerkoesen who hid anti-Nazi messages in his cartoons, while he was working in Nazi Germany. Let’s face it, that takes Chutzpah.

  • This is terrific. Thanks for sharing it, Jerry.

  • John K is awesome but I never saw them as gay. Jerry Mouse needed to do what he needed to do to survive i.e. dress up like a woman. Its not his fault Tom was so easily fooled by the “ladies”

  • Interesting how they never talked about the many times Bugs Bunny cross-dressed and use it as fodder, but I guess one duo is enough for them.

    As a British doc, I was expecting them to talk about some British animators, like Bob Godfrey, but I guess they probably know enough about his work in the British Isles. Interesting stuff, though.

  • Jody Morgan

    Anyone know what the excised content in part 4 was?

  • Chris Sobieniak

    Back when Channel 4 still cared for animation I see!

  • Roberto

    I didn’t wath the complete program, but I skipped through most of it (reason being that I don’t understand all of it without subtitles). What’s the image of the female duck in 00:17 from?

    Anyway, excellent documentary as far as I could understand. Thanks for sharing?

    I would agree that Jerry Mouse is “animated gay” sometimes, he does make feminine gestures, but that’s either for jokes or to express his cuteness. But I don’t see any gay relationship between Tom and Jerry, except for maybe that gag of “peeping Tom”, which does describe Jerry as a girl for a joke. For the most part not only Tom acts like a male but they usually don’t get along together very well as just friends, let alone lovers. And Jerry has been shown to be sort of a ladykiller himself.

    • Chris Sobieniak

      That “female duck” is from one of Hans Fischerkoesen’s cartoons he did in the 40’s, “Das dumme Gänslein” (The Silly Goose).

  • TempleDog

    Well, that’s my evening’s entertainment taken care of. Thanks!

  • Thank you for sharing this. I agree with Bakshi in where I would really love to animate something “real”(and the time will come). I do have a level of appreciation for the animation coming out now that is crude for the sake of using the medium to it’s every potential, but personally there is nothing more satisfying than watching a picture created by someone who has found their voice and has something to say….well, nothing more satisfying other than doing it yourself. Again, thank you for sharing this. It has been very inspirational and entertaining.

  • Nick R

    Is that Krazy Kat and Ignatz in part 1 at 2m 11s?

  • Ornade

    A welcome antidote to the corporate crap that defines the industry.

  • Thanks for directing us to this. Too bad the ending is not there.

    • Chris Sobieniak

      Yeah that would be nice if the ending was there, or just sub in some other music if you need to (Youtubers should be smarter than that).