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Disturbing Kids Cartoons

Too violent, too scary, too depressing and no longer suitable for kids! On Tuesday January 13th, at 8pm I’m returning to the Silent Movie Theatre in Hollywood with a full program of classic cartoons no longer shown on television and not on DVD.

This time the theme is cartoons originally made for children, but no longer deemed appropriate for the small fry, whether it’s because of the violence, cross dressing, smoking, sexism, or just straight-up bizarre ingredients contained within. If your childhood wasn’t already perverted by hours upon hours of unhinged animation, this show will make it up to you. Ultra-rare 16mm and 35mm prints will be screened–bring your kids at your own risk. For more details, check the Silent Movie website.

  • Brian

    Which cartoons are you going to be showing at this? I don’t live in L.A. (I live in Indianapolis), so there’s no way I could make it out there. I’d just be interested to know what some of the cartoons are so maybe I can seek them out for myself. The website didn’t mention any films, so I thought that I would ask.

  • The Murdered Puppet

    Great idea for a program! That 35 frame grab looks incredible!

  • andrew

    Violent please its not like todays cartoon are pink

  • Which Scrappy flick is this frame grab from?

  • Shaw – The frame grab is from THE PUPPET MURDER CASE, a 1935 Scrappy cartoon which is pretty disturbing. Not sure if I’m going to choose this one for the show – there are so many disturbing Scrappy cartoons. Suggestions, anyone?

  • The Murdered Puppet

    From the Scrappy series I might suggest the remorse-less infanticide of “The Little Pest”. “The Great Experiment” and “Let’s Ring Doorbells” are pretty bizarre also. From Krazy Kat I find “Prosperity Blues” to be disturbing in much the same way as “Sunshine Makers” as Krazy cures by slapping happy grins on the depressed denizens. “Piano Mover” has some pretty strange and off-color gags while Krazy in a diaper, in “Birth of Jazz”, could be the stuff of nightmares! “Svengarlic” of course defies description.

  • Suggestions? Just ask Fox if you can borrow their primetime animation block. Now, that’s disturbing, depressing, and not suitable for kids.

    Seriously, if I could move, it would be to Southern California to attend all these events you fellas post.

  • It looks very disturbing, although part of me wants to write a fake caption for that frame…

    “Jay Leno renegotiates his contact with NBC execs…”

  • Nic Kramer

    I suggest “The Dog Snatcher”.

  • That sounds like ridiculous fun. I wish I could gooooo. Damn all of your screenings at California, have more in New York!

  • rab smith

    ‘BALLOON LAND’ [I forget which studio, but it was in full color,] is a disturbingly eerie ‘nightmare’ work in my opinion; —definately not bland or boring, however……..

  • Kent Butterworth

    Scrappy did a great cartoon about drinking beer with gnomes and beating up the prohibition man – forgot the title but it would be great to see in 35mm

  • Balloon Land – P.A. Powers’ ComiColor – Ub Iwerks

  • Jerry,
    could you post the definitive list when you’ll have made it?

  • Dave


    When you post these events it makes me wish I still lived in the the L.A. area .

    I wish someone would start a whole cable channel devoted to showing only cartoons . It could be a mix of old classic cartoons and new cartoons made by the best young talent in the business. They could call it the “Animation Network” or “Cartoon Channel” or something like that … oh wait … um…

    Well, anyway, it would be nice to have such an all-cartoon channel which could also schedule a late-night block of bizarre/weird/politically incorrect cartoons where they could show things like the Scrappy cartoons.

  • Bill Andres

    Growing up in the 60’s, kids like me were watching cartoons, comedy shorts, (Little Rascals, Three Stooges), that many would call non-pc these days, and I don’t recall any of my classmates bringing an Oozie to school and blowing away their classmates. A few years back a local news reporter interviewed a concerned parent, who no longer let her child watch cartoons, because she felt many were too offensive, but during the course of the interview, you could see the child in the background playing a very violent video game. What gets me; many will call these old cartoons disturbing, but have no problem with shows like: The Simpsons, Family Guy, or South Park. These cartoons deserve to be seen and not locked up in vaults, I hope to see more screenings with these rare cartoons, keep them coming.

  • I assume you’ll be including episodes of Dora the Explorer.
    I find that cartoon incredibly disturbing.

  • Jake

    Many Famous Studios shorts would now be deemed too psychotic for kids if they weren’t virtually off the thought police radar. Of course, they aren’t silent.

  • zavkram

    Looks like it will be a terrific show… too bad I live on the East Coast and would not be able to attend the screening.

    I agree that the frame-grab posted above looks gorgeous!

  • Jake

    Say what you will about primetime animated shows being a social menace. No animated show ever gave points for how many prostitutes the viewer killed with a firearm.

  • Shmorky

    I avoided Scrappy cartoons until only recently because I thought they’d be pretty terrible. Now that I’ve seen them I can see that they ARE terrible, but for many reasons besides being crummy. They are evil little cartoons! Now I am fascinated with them.

  • Stevie Mac

    How can this look like a “terrific show” when no specific cartoons are listed? Here or on the Silent Movie Theatre site.

    Details please, Mr. Beck…

  • I will post the specific cartoons either the day of or the day after the show.

  • cliffclaven

    There was a Famous Studios entry called, I think, “Pig’s Tale.” A modern city full of animals despises brown-skinned pigs because they’re Ugly. One little piggie falls into some magic mud and comes out pink — that is, Beautiful. The rest of the pigs start diving into every available patch of mud searching for pinkness, and that’s why pigs wallow in mud today.

    You’d like to think it was supposed to be a parable about racism, but the whole thing is flat and clueless. It feels like the makers honestly thought the idea of persecuted pigs, defined as ugly solely by darker skin, was a laugh riot (A female pig looks in a mirror and it breaks; she walks away sadly. That’s the gag.).

    Famous Studios had a number of disturbing shorts, like the “One Froggy Evening” knockoff about a singing flea (it’s depressing without being funny or poignant), or the often cringeworthy pain visited on Katnip, Baby Huey and the wolf, and even Popeye (they even draw them to look unfunnily hurt).

    It’s one thing to see vintage films, live or animated, where pioneers stumble en route towards comic sense and audience sympathy. It’s very strange to see genuinely creepy or unpleasant misfires in 1950’s or 60’s shorts, especially when the names on the credits are mostly seasoned pros.

  • Hey Jerry-
    Yeah, Puppet Murder Case is certainly a disturbing Scrappy cartoon worth showing, as is ‘Putting out the Kitten.’

    The most disturbing cartoon I can think of which is specifically aimed around children is the Toddle Tale “Grandfather Clock”. I can’t watch it.

    Another good one is “Fish Tales” with Porky Pig getting skinned alive by a giant fish.

  • The Murdered Puppet

    I did a mix of Smoking and Drinking cartoons a couple years back – definitely not appropriate for children. The track listing was:

    1. By the Old Mill Stream (Screen Song) –
    The subject is animals getting loaded on cider.

    2. Porky’s Party (Looney Tunes)
    A dog gets drunk on hair tonic

    3. Wise Quacks (Looney Tunes)
    Daffy finds liquid courage in a bottle of ‘corn juice’.

    4. Wholly Smoke (Looney Tunes)
    Porky tries smoking and encounters ‘Nic-O-Tine’

    5. Showing Off (Scrappy)
    Scrappy shows Margie he is a ‘real man’ by smoking a cigar and
    dancing a jig.

    6.You Don’t Know What You’re Doin’ (Merrie Melodies)
    Basically everybody gets loaded … including a car!

    7. The Beer Parade (Scrappy)
    Scrappy, Oopie and some beer gnomes fight ‘old man prohibition’.

    8. Goopy Geer (Merrie Melodies)
    A horse gets ‘a bad batch’ and hallucinates he is Ghandi.

    9. The Lion and the Mouse
    Who knew that the secret of Mighty Mouse’s power was … liquor!

    10. Sudden Fried Chicken (Noveltoon)
    Herman talks Henry into a prize fight with the promise of liquor and prostitutes.

    11. Pipe Dreams (Happy Harmonies)
    The Goody Goody Monkeys take a trip to the magical world of tobacco products.

    11. Hen Pecked Rooster (Noveltoon)
    Where do you put out your butt when you’re finished? On the table of course!

    12. Cheese Burglers (Noveltoon)
    Herman tricks a cat and a dog that each is trying to kill the other. The peacemaker is a bottle of Thunderbird.

    13. In the Nicotine (Modern Madcap)
    A man tries to sneak tobacco into rehab.

    14. No If, Ands or Butts (Buzzy)
    Buzzy tortures Katnip who is trying to quit. The Moral? Don’t quit.

    15. Donald’s Happy Birthday (Donald Duck)
    Donald forces Huey, Duey and Louie to smoke a whole box of cigars. That’ll learn ’em!

  • Ricardo Rodriguez

    Donald’s Bee at the Beach.

    …No, seriously. Donald has never suffered as much as here. Did anyone root for the bee? That ending is just…Come on, no show of disturbing kids cartoons is complete without this one.

  • Bob

    Yeah, nothin’ like Scrappy beating the bejesus out of poor little Oopie.