The Origin of Mankind

They say animation warps impressionable minds. Here is a piece of propaganda that was created to scare people from becoming Mormon, produced on the level of a 1970s Filmation cartoon.

Let me apologize in advance. This may be one of the all-time worst things I’ve ever posted on the Brew. It’s not a TV Funhouse parody, it’s for real; it includes some scary, racist propaganda. I do not condone the message or beliefs presented in this film, it is posted as part of my ongoing research for the Worst Cartoons Ever Made.


  • http://www.cartoonsteve.com Steve

    It would be great to hear the Cartoon Dump commentary on this one! Funny how the narrator emphasizes the words “black skin” at 2:25. He must be what Obama calls a “typical white person” ha ha

  • aaron

    As a disgruntled ex-Mormon with an ax to grind I have to say this piece of crap is pretty accurate from what I remember from Sunday school, BUT I first saw this “animation” in an anti-Mormon film called “The Godmakers”. My question, that I haven’t found an answer for, is who produced it? Was it the Mormon church or was it an anti-Mormon group. Just to be fair I think that needs to be clarified. If it’s the Mormon church then shame on them, if not, take the information with a tiny grain of salt.

  • James

    Coca Cola? ;)

  • http://www.sweaterthieves.com David King

    Jerry, I can’t believe you think this is among the worst cartoons ever–it’s great! Also, it seems to be anti-Mormon, though the even-handed voiceover almost makes the fantastic seem credible.

    Thanks a lot for posting this. It would be fun to see on a big screen. I only wish the guys at the end had been animated/rotoscoped, too.

  • http://timrauch.blogspot.com Tim Rauch

    “Here’s the origin of mankind, filtered through Mormon philosophy”

    I’ve seen this before and similarly enjoyed it but I think it’s important to point out that this is not “Mormon philosophy” so much as it is an attack on the Mormon faith by an outside group. The degree to which this is a fair and accurate presentation of what Mormons believe should be suspect. Keep that in mind when watching this cartoon and don’t let a one-sided attack define what you think of a faith which is practiced by many good people all over the world.

  • http://afrokids.com Floyd Norman

    I was going with it until they said, “No Coffee!”

    Since I can’t kick my Starbucks habit I guess it’s all over for me.

  • Joe P

    They forgot to mention Gandalf the Grey and the Underpants Gnomes.

  • Joe

    I’m leaning towards thinking that this was made to be anti-mormonist, judging by phrases “Mormons believe” and “Joseph Smith supposedly” as well as the live action segments.

    I’m not terribly well-versed in Mormon thelogy, but some of the segments of the animation I recall being in the Book of Mormon.

    Could someone with more knowledge of Mormonism shed some light on this?

  • robiscus

    where did you find that? its so offensive, that its hard to believe it is trying to promote the mormon religion.

  • maxeythecat

    This is just too creepy…..guess I don’t have to wonder why my parents took my brother and I out of the Mormon church when I was five.

  • Becky

    Weird. No more weird than scientology or christianity or buddhism. But funky weird fairy tale. People are fools.

  • http://www.mormon.org Moroni Taylor

    This was made by someone who is anti-Mormon. It was not made by the Mormon church nor does depict true Mormon doctrine.

  • red pill junkie

    Obviously this is an anti-mormon cartoon. I would also like to know who produced it.

    On the animation level, it sure is a very crappy use of rotoscoping.

    And on the ethnic level, well… if black people were neutral on the Lucifer vs Jesus battle, and white people were on the winning side, then I guess we mexicans were some kind of double agents, right? :-)

  • http://www.chuckrekow.com Chuck R.

    “don’t let a one-sided attack define what you think of a faith which is practiced by many good people all over the world.”

    I’ll second that, Tim. And I wish Jerry had found some background info before posting this. The fact that no-one’s taking responsibility for it should be sufficient warning.

    Oh, and comparing this piece to Filmation is undeserved praise.

  • Joe S.

    This film IS what the Mormans believe in. I grew up in a Morman house hold and the Bishop was trying to get my dad to convert or divorce my Morman mom. I have done “baptism for the dead” at a Morman temple when I was young. I think religion is all a bunch of crap to begin with but this one is BAD. Yeah it was fun going to functions with a bunch of families and kids that I grew up with in the Morman church, but when I got older they wanted me to start doing things like knocking on Morman families doors and asking for donations. Then going on a Mission to preach this rubbish to others. I have met and still know Mormans and I care about them, but I don’t believe in it.
    They still come knocking on my door two times a month trying to convert me. I havent gone to church in 17 years by the way. How the hell did they find me? This is the kind of crap I go through being an EX-Morman. Do yourself a favor and stay away from them. Some God will thank you later for it.
    I heard about this film growing up and the Mormans told me, if I watch this that I would go to hell. So I watched an hell here I come.
    On the “Godmakers” video they sing the EXACT songs that they would make me sing as a kid. Any Morman should watch this film but please do not be suicidal.
    Good find on this one Jerry but this is all true.

  • http://drawingattheendoftheworld.blogspot.com/ Adrienne

    Hey, “black skin” is a blessing, not a curse! I never have to worry about sunburn or skin cancer, and both my parents (hopefully this will extend to myself) look at least 10 years younger than they really are. Booyah!!

    The sad thing with this sort of wild mythology is that people who are anti-Christian anyway will simply lump this foolishness in with legitimate Creation stories as just another fairy tale. Ah well, like they need any excuse to do *that*.

    Still, this animation was interesting. Who would have commissioned such a thing?

  • DaggerMind

    Of course it’s racist. Mormonism, like most religions have elements of racist beliefs intertwined with it. It was removed (but never renounced retroactively) in the 1970s.

  • http://portapuppets.does.it uncle wayne

    Well, congratts! You’ve reached your zenith! This makes Clutch Cargo look like Bambi!

  • http://robcatview.blogspot.com robcat2075

    What an interesting find!

    Based on the rather positive look of the animation versus the skeptical tone of the narration, my theory is that the animation was done for some pro-Mormon organization and has been recast here with a new narration track by some anti-Mormon organization. The round table discussion at the end makes it pretty clear this production is not trying to promote Mormon theology.

    I bet with some searching you could find another, more complete version of the animation with a more reverent narration attached to it.

  • Christopher Cook

    Where’d they get diaper pins?

  • http://www.ovinedelcu.blogspot.com ovi

    becky said:
    “Weird. No more weird than scientology or christianity or buddhism. But funky weird fairy tale. People are fools.”

    you forgot to mention those who think a rock decided to form itself out of nothing, then marry some water goo to form a fish to then jump out of the water and start walking around who then decided to start climbing trees but then later decided to grow a brain that had a conscience millions of years later. and presto! here we are. weird.

    remember, religion, ideology, and world view are the same thing with different names. no one KNOWS what happened because we werent there, but we all BELIEVE it did. whatever IT might be. and that IT drives our lives and that IT IS our “religion/ideology/ world view”

  • Keith Paynter

    Geez, for a second I thought I was watching Heavy Metal – that narrator sounded a lot like the voice of the Loc-Nar!

    “Take it easy, Charlie – I got an angle…”

  • http://geritopiablogspot.com GeeVee

    This is boilerplate anti-Mormon stuff, although it uses esoteric points of real doctrine with contextual omissions. There are zealots, especially amongst Protestant and Evangelicals who have whole “anti-cult/ anti-Mormon ministries” and they make these kinds of films and pamphlets. So the Mormons get it from both sides –from traditional Christians for being a cult and from ‘secular’ voices who think they’re just plain weird.

    You should ask animator Don Bluth, who is Mormon, regarding the accuracy. However, you’ll probably never get to the bottom of the issue, as there are people on both sides who spend their whole lives either being apologists or zealous attackers of Mormonism.

    My take is that it’s a pretty exotic religion in terms of extra-biblical doctrines (although if you believe in god speaking via a burning bush and noah’s ark, you’re already in the same relative ballpark) but the Mormon people are more often amongst the nicest, industrious and independent people. There’s always that paradox.

  • Adam

    This is indeed a clip from the anti-Mormon film “The Godmakers”. It is not an accurate portrayal of Mormon beliefs. If you want to know what Mormons believe, don’t trust some horrible animation from the 70′s you saw on YouTube. You could start by going to http://www.mormon.org/ for info on Mormon basic beliefs. I hope the rest of your research is… better researched, Jerry.

  • http://dmgermain.blogspot.com David Germain

    I kind of like the idea that Jesus and Satan were brothers. That sounds like a great concept for a hit sitcom.

  • amid

    Just a quick note but any further discussion of which religion is right or wrong will be automatically deleted. It’s hard enough moderating discussions about cartoons. We sure as heck don’t have time to moderate back-and-forths about your religious preferences. Thanks!

  • Killroy McFate

    Yikes! This kinda reminds of the Elders that Billy Batson would seek advice from on the old live-action ‘Shazam’ show.

  • http://thad-k.blogspot.com Thad Komorowski

    I like how when the chick becomes a demon she also gets frumpy breasts.

  • http://goldenrusset.blogspot.com Goldenrusset

    haha. i like this cartoon… it’s creepy and ominous, like a kind of a nightmare. some of the bad rotoscoping actually has some charm, like an exhibit in a horror museum with animatronic mannequins.

    i will refrain from the religious debate.

  • drmedula

    I think robcat is right; it looks as if the animation was done from a “pro-mormon” stance, but had an “anti-mormon” narration tacked on. Which brings up the possibility that the film in question is some form of copyright infringement or illegal usage… and if THAT doesn’t get you a spot in “Worst Cartoons Ever”, than I don’t know what will….

  • Don

    You can tell that the Mormons didn’t make this film. The Osmonds are nowhere in it.

  • http://ihavehiddenyourkeys.blogspot.com Michael Hansen

    As an animation fan, Cartoon Brew reader, and a Mormon, I think I have something to add to the discussion.

    As far as the background of the clip, I can say 100% that this was not created by my church, as both the narration and illustration have little to do with what we actually believe.

    On the animation side, this is a great find for the Worst Cartoons Ever Made category. I think the Zelda CD-i games have got it beat though.

    All in all, I just hope that in the future more background will be given before posting content that is a blatant attack on someone’s beliefs.

  • http://stephansolarchive.blogspot.com Stephan

    Hahaha, I had almost as much fun with this explaination as I had with watching the SouthPark version of Scientology hahaha.

  • http://www.myspace.com/crumbcrispcoating Jonathan the Bellboy

    But does the guy burying the gold plates, Moroni, have any connection to the storyboard artist Moroni? Every time I see the latter Moroni credited in The Iron Giant, I wonder what the story is?

    The sound effects in the battle scenes sound like a bunch of 8 year-old boys made them. I found that somewhat charming in a Worst Cartoons Ever Made kind of way.

  • http://chippyandloopus.typepad.com/ John Sanford

    Where does the magic underwear fit in?

  • http://www.lippy.com Lippy

    HA! I worked at Filmation, and our stuff was never this good!

    Nice battle scenes w/the Indians!

  • http://gavinscartoons.blogspot.com Gavin

    As a cartoon fan this film is fantastic. Be careful playing this to a crowd though Jerry. The Morman folks might get pissed off and through board-games at you…

  • http://youtube.com/wrinklishtibben wrinklish tibben

    Was this made by Lou Scheimer? Was that Tawking Tawny back there next to Lucifer and Blackstar? Was that the narrator from the Dune Special Edition? The mind boggles.

  • http://www.jessica-plummer.com Jessica Plummer

    I thought ninjas fighting pirates was great, but romans fighting indians is the new cool!

  • http://www.danyboom.blogspot.com dany

    did it say, through endless celestial sex ?

    cool.

  • Marc G.

    Haha, that’s great. I never thought that Mormonism and Battlestar Galactica had much in common, but now…

  • http://kittyhasfleaz.blogspot.com Felicia Spano

    HAHAHAHAH! I actually remember watching this a few months back on YouTube. It’s both scary and hysterical! Thank you for refreshing my memory. It just made my day.

  • Pedro Nakama

    Was this made by Don Bluth?

  • http://gerarddesouza.blogspot.com Gerard de Souza

    “did it say, through endless celestial sex ?
    cool.”
    Yeh. But you’re not allowed to smoke. ;)

    Besides the other obvious questions, would love to know the budget on this.

  • Dock Miles

    If it is “The Godmakers,” a tiny bad of reasearch gives you a bunch of info about it. That it was used to fire up Evangelicals is every bit as yucky as anything it depicts.

    It’s even based on a smear-campaign book, no less.

  • http://marseedesign.com davem

    To address the question of who made this:
    This most definitely was not made by the Mormon Church or anyone with positive feelings towards it. The producers seemed to want this whole thing to appear repugnant, and used every trick in the book: from the horrible quality of the animation and likenesses… to the insinuations of sci-fi, racist and misogynist beliefs.

    To address the accuracy:
    I’ve studied Mormon theology for years, and the inflammatory statements seen in this clip (Celestial Sex, source of the Black skin color, Jesus’s family, Smith’s lineage, Elohim being Adam, I can’t even remember them all) seem to only exist in the minds of critics. It’s not part of any real of Mormon dogma I’ve seen.

    To address its value:
    I agree that it’s one of the worst things I’ve ever seen: both on the artistic front as well as the “truthiness” it presents. Can it be at the top of two “worst of” lists? =)

  • http://trevour.blogspot.com Trevour

    I remember (back in ’01 or so) my friend (who was a youth minister at the time) brought this video home from his [Lutheran] church’s library so we could watch it. We all thought it was so outrageous… I’m sure this video was available in MANY church libraries across the country to give Mormonism a bad name.

    By the way, that rotoscoping was hilarious! They were like lost footage from He-Man episodes!

  • Wilbert Plijnaar

    Jonathan the Bellboy says:
    *But does the guy burying the gold plates, Moroni, have any connection to the storyboard artist Moroni? Every time I see the latter Moroni credited in The Iron Giant, I wonder what the story is?*

    Moroni (Danny) Taylor is one of the funniest story guys in the business. For the last 7 years he has been working at Blue Sky on every thing they produce. Before that Jimmy Neutron the movie ( at DNA) and Osmosis Jones and Quest for Camelot at WB.
    As far as his credit on Iron Giant : No story there, just his name.

  • Lionel

    Classic Disney Art returns to the US (March 24)= 10 comments
    Anti or pro Mormon comments (March 25)= 49 comments

    How sad…

  • markjsand

    I see many connections here. The use of the cartoon as propaganda goes back to the cartoon studies of Michelangelo and his religious works including the Sintine Chapel if not before to Massachio.

    The need to tell a story or narrative often religious begat our most powerfull art. This vulgar anti Morman display of propaganda and animation has its roots in the earliest stages of western culture. Now the same tools instead of pushing religion push things like Pepsi or Yahoo. We are primed to accept/critique these new visual narratives because of our old conceptions informed by Michelangelo’s unanimated cartoons that we see as the height of western genius and culture. Technology in the form of fixed perspective,carton based paintings,science of anatomy, paper, charcol, etc. served the Catholic chuch in the 1500′s, today technology in the form of pixel based animation serves madison ave. ,religion and propaganda today. The constant is the power of the story and visual and narrative structure.

  • DaggerMind

    “remember, religion, ideology, and world view are the same thing with different names. no one KNOWS what happened because we werent there, but we all BELIEVE it did.”
    Science isn’t a world view, it’s a tool for finding out how the world came to be. But thanks for blending religion with science, that’s what America needs most of all right now.

  • Dock Miles

    Interesting what sort of gobbledygook you can come up with (like Sistine Chapel = anti-Mormon propaganda = Pepsi commercial) if you leave out the skill of the creators and cultural context they work in. They all used red, blue, green and brown, too. That doesn’t mean they have anything significant in common.

  • Doug Drown

    I’m a clergyman and I have my own thoughts regarding Mormon theology; as Jerry correctly said, this is not an appropriate forum in which to air them. I will say, however, in regard to the quality of the animation, that I’m glad evangelicals have graduated from this to the VeggieTales. This reminded me of the worst of the Lou Scheimer/Norm Prescott stuff from the early ’70s. Gag me with a spoon.

  • BWSmith

    As expected, the “boilerplate” responses are the ones from the Mormon side, who provide a general, vague “this isn’t what we believe” response without further clarification, and the skeptic side, who lumps Christianity in together with Mormonism.

    What I would like to hear is specifics from the Mormon side on the “historical” claims of the animation piece. Where are the inaccuracies in the events they present? If particular details are not true, then what would be a truer presentation?

  • Baron Lego

    See, this is why I stick with worshiping Cthulhu.

  • http://www.paul-burrows.com paburrows

    At the risk of getting bashed I am a Mormon and that is not made by the Mormon church. Like any propaganda for any anti cause they take truths and twist and distort them.

  • Sam Gramp

    It makes me sad that you would post an anti-Mormon film on your blog… not only is the stuff in that cartoon not true, but it continues to spread lies about the Mormons ( The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints ) beliefs witch intern continues to make Mormons look weird and racist. Do you think Ed Catmull (the man who helped start Pixar and now is the head of Disney animation) is raciest or would believe some of these lies… do you know that he is a Mormon too? Don’t judge Mormons by anti-Mormon information. Mormons have nothing to hide, just go directly to the source, and see how Mormons are… By their fruits ye shall know them. It’s too bad people still fear Mormons, because lets face it, they wouldn’t be putting out lies and making Mormons look bad if they didn’t fear them. Boy those family loving, high moral, kind people are really scary aren’t they? Can you believe how evil they are by teaching their kids to be like Jesus, and to choose the right, and to love your neighbor? Do yourself a favor, and find out for yourself if Mormons believe these lies…. Do some actual research on the matter and go to the actual source… they will gladly answer any questions you have.

  • http://torontoanimation.blogspot.com TempleDog

    “No more weird than scientology or christianity or buddhism.” Yeah, but at least Buddhism made for a kick-ass Tezuka comic. Thanks for the cartoon, Jerry…I’m officially becoming a Pastafarian.

  • kjarra

    I really enjoyed this cartoon. My mother was a Mormon and it reminded me of the stories she told me, the war in heaven and taking sides with satan and all. It was like old home week. But to be fair the LDS church has changed a lot in the last 100 years and many of these beliefs are no longer in practice.

  • Zep

    You know, there are some pretty hilarious cartoon drawings in Chick tracts, too.
    Please don’t post them!

  • OM

    …Wow. And where do the Thetans and Tom Cruise figure in all this? :-P

    …On the other hand, there may be some basis of fact WRT the Injuns being descended from the Ten Lost Tribes. IIRC, Ed Ames, who played Mingo on Daniel Boone, was in fact Jewish :-)

  • kevin leinbach

    Usually Jerry is pretty good about gettin the who’s and the how’s about a cartoon before posting it. Sadly he didn’t do his homework on this one.

  • http://www.cartoonmonkey.com Chad Essley

    I actually own a book called “Mormonism and the Negro” published in the late 60′s by someone ( a prof? ) at Brigham Young University. It is unabashedly racist! Now.. the view of the church on this was reversed, but I believe because the US Govt was going to deny them tax exemption as a church for denying people of color the Mormon priesthood.

    If anyone would like to check it out, I drew a 24 hour comic book about the subject several years ago. Check it out here: http://www.cartoonmonkey.com/tdtma.html

    Klaatu Verada nikto!
    :-)

  • http://marseedesign.com davem

    @ BWSmith: The problem isn’t that Mormons don’t have any good specific answers, it’s that it’s hard to know where to begin responding. So many of the assertions in material like this throw insinuation after falsehood after insinuation, that it’ll take too long to being addressing them all.

    And as Amid said, this is not the forum to begin picking apart the video, point-by-point, based on our opinions. If you’re looking for specifics, that’s what big wikis like this are for:
    http://en.fairmormon.org/FAIRwiki:Table_of_contents

  • http://www.cartoonmonkey.com Chad Essley

    Argh! Traffic took down my website?
    Try the link later folks..

  • http://www.myspace.com/dougputhoff Douglas A. Puthoff

    Filmation my eye!

    This stuff is as bad as Grantray-Lawrence “Marvel Super-Heroes” cartoons–and with no catchy theme songs, to boot.

  • Lucy

    Well, something finally beat out all those cartoons I had to watch in Catholic school, in particular the story of the Crucifixion told from the point of the tree the cross was carved from. I’m just sad I wasn’t aware of this cartoon when I did a report on rotoscoping last year… This is a clear example of how it can be used VERY wrong.

  • vzk

    Next on Cartoon Brew…

    “The Light of the World” by Jack Chick!

  • http://saturdayamcartoons.blogspot.com/ Mat

    I also came across this a few days ago and have to say that it’s one of the creepiest things I have ever seen.

  • Anson Williams

    Jack T. Chick’s fevered visual diatribes and the anti-Catholic Archie comics once sold in Christian Bible stores absolutely deserve a special post. Jack Chick has gotten a free pass for far too long.

  • Weldon

    Filmation’s rotoscoping was a lot tighter than this drivel, but their filmmaking “style” seems to have influenced its overall gestalt. If Filmation had never existed, this thing would probably resemble the Hanna-Barbera output of the 1970′s.

  • Inkan1969

    Now that we know the truth behind this AMV we can understand it more clearly. One thing I suspect about the makers of this video: they seem to think that sex is something evil. :-) Notice how the narrator emphasizes the word, “sex”, whenever he says it.

  • http://www.JamalOtolorin.blogspot.com Jamal O

    A very well informed friend sent this to me months ago. I laughed hysterically then, and I’m Laughing hysterically now.

    Ahhh the power of Artists. How often throughout history have their precious talents been used for Propaganda?

    Hey at least they had work right?

    In defense of the CJCLDS, I don’ t think they are so unsophisticated to believe this doctrine.

    But who knows, I’ve heard many interesting myths and beliefs from all sorts of people.

    I wonder who the animators were?

  • BigHorse

    The narrator to me sounds somewhat like the narrator in the original Dune movie…only he doesn’t ‘get into it’ in the same way.

    The spice must flow!

  • L. Leftowitz

    Even though they did kidnap me and force me to sire hundreds of children for space exploration, they don’t deserve to take the rap for this crappy cartoon. It was probably made by the guys at the end of the video with the creepy 70s mustaches.

  • cjseaton

    If you’re looking to find out who made this and when you can go over to Wikipedia or Google it. Here’s a Wiki link:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_God_Makers_%28film%29

    Personally, I find the animation laughable and hardly professional by any standards. Rotoscoping is an excellent tool if used correctly and only sparingly. The animation in this piece isn’t even worth being compared to the crappy Saturday morning cartoon fare from the late 70′s or early 80′s.

  • bakergirl

    It’s new and improved! And resubmitted for worst video ever!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w4rXmOpkO1c

  • http://mormonvideos.blogspot.com lds9999

    I thought I’d comment to remark that this cartoon is far from accurate. It was created by an anti-Mormon group in the early 80s and its falsehoods have been debunked time and time again.

    For example, in March 1984, the Board of the National Conference of Christians and Jews repudiated the film, saying “The film does not—in our opinion—fairly portray the Mormon Church, Mormon history, or Mormon belief.”