Let’s talk about 80’s and 90’s, an era loaded with Super Mario, Yoyo, pile of Cassettes and landlines. Those of us who were kids during that period grew up with Tom & Jerry, Mickey and Friends or Donald. We know the value of the only entertainment that was available for kids back then, other than indoor or outdoor games and general activities. Most of us always came from school as a toddler and waited for Aladdin to come on his magic carpet on that black and white box. At that time, many countries telecast the famous cartoons like Mickey Mouse and Club House, He-Man and lots of hot cake cartoon programs in their Local languages. The amazing Nana Patekar behind Sher Khan for the Mowgli telecast on Doordarshan in India is still a sensation on YouTube. But, when we all grew up indulging ourselves more into this cartoon world and jumped deep inside cartoons to recall our childhood attachments in their original versions, many of us must have found something hilarious. Not everything in that universe is always as innocent as it supposed to be and here is the list of Top 10 controversial trivia of cartoon characters.
10. Monster House
This famous production of Image Movers and Amblin Entertainment is an animated movie released in 2006, directed by Gil Kenan, which was distributed by Columbia Pictures. For the first time since “Back to the Future Part III”, Robert Zemeckis and Steven Spielberg worked together as executive producers in this movie. As of 2012, this is the only animated film to feature an entirely original story and not based on existing source material. In one scene, with some extra attention, we can hear something ridiculous where our cast of characters Dj, Skull, Chowder and Bones, used as DJ, Punk, Freak, and Ketchup in the German version of the film, are all children, who are discussing the “anatomy” of the Monster House. One kid points out the teeth, and then the tongue and then, again, he shouts, “That must be the uvula!” while pointing towards a chandelier. Another child promptly replies, “Oh, so this must be a female house.” The uvula, of course, a female character, in this film, somehow gets mixed up with the vulva.
9. The Spectacular Spider-Man
The Spectacular Spider-Man was developed for television by Greg Weisman and Victor Cook which is often referred to as the greatest Spider-Man cartoon ever made. After publishing “The Night Gwen Stacy Died” on 1973, Spider-Man Animated Series adopted the story in the episode, “Turning Point” where Gwen was replaced by Mary Jane. The Spectacular Spider-Man was acclaimed for its crisp dialogue and reintroduction of countless famous characters from the Spider-Man universe while still remaining loyal to the original comics. It introduced some characters that would normally be disqualified from children’s programming, such as Black Cat concealed in a skin-tight, revealing uniform. The thing gets a little messy for its 10 years old target audience in one episode, in which Peter Parker hits high school. We all were curious to see tissues in his room, and then something splendid happens while he is chasing Black Cat around a warehouse. While spraying his web all over, he hears Catwoman saying “You better not get your goop in my hair.” And he replies “Don’t worry; it comes off with ice or peanut butter.” Let’s leave the rest to the imagination.
Louis Kalhern “Grandpa Lou” Pickles is the senior most member of Pickles family from 1991 Cartoon Series, Rugrats, involving the daily life experiences that become adventures in the babies’ imaginations. It was created by Arlene Klasky, Gábor Csupó, and Paul Germain for Nickelodeon. Rugrats was awarded with over 20 awards during 13 years of continuous broadcasting which includes 4 Daytime Emmy Awards, 7 Kids’ Choice Awards, and also its own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Grandpa Lou is one of the most controversial cartoon characters by Nick. It gets controversial when in one episode, Grandpa Lou rents some movies for the infant Tommy, Dil, and Angelica to watch. He takes two movie cassettes naming “Reptar Come Home” and “Reptar Redux”, starring the kids’ favorite atomic dinosaur, Reptar. Along with these, he brings his personal favorite movie, “Lonely Space Vixens” where a green vixen hiding her private parts with shells in front appears as a cover picture of the cassette, to which he adds, “That’s for after you go to bed.”
7. The Flintstones
This famous cartoon series created by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera was one of the oldest cartoons that broadcast in television. Aired from September 30, 1960, to April 1, 1966, the original work was first broadcast on ABC channel, America. The Flintstones rarely got more sophisticated than Stone Age chauvinism and using woodpeckers as typewriters. That is, except for the time they quietly slipped a hilarious joke into an episode right into its tightly knit screenplay. In that episode, Fred and Barney go to the store for the purpose of filling their stone wardrobes. Fred asks Barney about his preference of clothes he wants to buy. Barney replies that it will be good if he gets something that makes him look a little taller. Fred suggests, with a laugh, to buy another head for that height increment he wants. Barney promptly replies, “What do I need three of them for?” And it is obvious to understand about the second head, and you’ll also break into a laughter like the way they laughed after that.
Madagascar, a famous animated film, directed by Eric Darnell and Tom McGrath, was released in movie theaters on May 27, 2005. This is the film in which pineapples grow on trees in the jungle, whereas, in reality, pineapples grow on the ground. If you carefully watch the scene where Skipper, the talking monkey reads a newspaper, you will notice that the newspaper is the comic itself. There is no real way to do that if you want to use a certain offensive synonym of ‘poop’ in any animated movies for children. But, to salute the amazing naughtiness of the voice of Ben Stiller, Chris Rock and David Schwimmer behind those amazing animals, scriptwriter, Mark Burton, Billy Frolick, Eric Darnell and Tom McGrath came up with a great idea. In one particular scene where Alex, the famous lion character, voiced by Ben, and Marty the zebra, voiced by Chris, are running towards each other on the beach while theme music of Chariots of Fire playing in the air, Marty somehow manages to understand the not-so-loving run of Alex towards him and suddenly switches direction while yelling Sugar Honey Iced Tea. So, why was the Sugar Honey Iced Tea used there as an expressive outcome? Try to figure out the original word by reading only the first alphabets.
5. Powerpuff Girls
This famous cartoon series was created by animator Craig McCracken and produced by Cartoon Network Studios for Cartoon Network. Craig originally developed the show back in 1992 as a short cartoon title called “Whoopass Stew!”, while in his second year at California Institute of the Arts. A continuous 7-year broadcasting with whopping success started from November 18, 1998, till it aired the final episode on March 25, 2005 which was nominated for six Emmy Awards, nine Annie Awards, and a Kids’ Choice Award. On June 16, 2014, In Comic-con Cartoon Network proudly announced plans to reboot the series in 2016. Its earlier original episodes are full with fun and laughter. But, it goes extremely funny in one of the episodes when Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup bring one of their friends, Robin, home and introduce her to their dad, Professor Utonium, and they say that he is the guy who accidentally made them in the laboratory. Robin, being a normally born child, replies, “It’s Okay, Professor, I was an accident, too,” which made the professor drop his jaw.
4. Dexter’s Laboratory
This thick-accented little science prodigy is a marvelous gift for children by Genndy Tartakovsky for Cartoon Network. The same fellow that Star Wars creator George Lucas hired to direct Star Wars: Clone Wars. After it premiered on April 28, 1996 by 1999 it has telecast 52 episodes including a television movie. This concoction of tech and science for kids was not always as decent as it apparently seems. The fact is that “Dexter’s Rude Removal” is the name of the episode which Cartoon Network refused to air due to the characters’ swearing. Later, Cartoon Network’s late night program, Adult Swim, eventually uploaded it on YouTube and got 500,000 views within 24 hours. Later, “Dial M for Monkey: Barbequor” episode featured Silver Spooner, a spoof of the Silver Surfer from Marvel Universe, which was perceived by Cartoon Network as a stereotype of gay men. In “Nuclear Confusion” episode, while Dexter searched for the third clue by Dee Dee and went to Neighbor Lady’s house, that lady bent over to pick up a cookie she dropped onto the floor and he sees ‘Dad’s Trophy’ written across her buttocks on those purple pants.
3. Toy Story
The unforgettable 1995 animated adventure film, produced by Pixar and directed by John Lasseter is still a must watch for any kid. it was distributed solely by Walt Disney Pictures. Tom Hanks gave voice for Woody the plastic cowboy while Tim Allen amused us as space ranger Buzz Lightyear. But, it has also got a character for adults in a twisted way. Do you remember that toy with bare legs and a hooker replacing her upper body? Yes, you got it right; there is a hooker in children’s film for adult entertainment for those toys. As an interesting fact, we can see that while Woody is a regular toy, his mouth alternates between closed and smiling to partially open. Moreover, there’s a part of the splendid Pixar sequel Toy Story 2 in which Star Command space ranger Buzz Lightyear gets the toy equivalent of an erection. During the scene where Buzz is introduced to cowgirl Jessie when she’s just leaping around Andy’s room, Buzz stares at her while his eyes pops out due to excitement. And suddenly, his wings pop up and start flashing. There is no better way to show the plastic toys getting ‘turned on’ than this.
Aladdin is a Middle Eastern folk tale from The Arabian Nights successfully adapted by Walt Disney Pictures in cartoon back in 1992. This amazing series of three movies and tv series directed by John Musker and Ron Clements showcased Scott Weinger as Aladdin and Robin Williams as The Genie. Disney successfully supported homosexuality 20 years back in a twisted way with a scene from the movie where Aladdin almost drowns after being kidnapped and dropped into the sea by Jafar’s goons. Genie saves his master and says out of genuine affection for Aladdin, “I’m getting pretty fond of you, kid,” and later adds, “Not that I want to pick out curtains, or anything.” Later, in the movie “Aladdin and the King of Thieves”, Aladdin establishes himself as a fatherly character. That movie contains a hilarious reaction from Genie during Aladdin and Jasmine’s wedding sequence. There’s an earthquake, to which Genie reacts while muttering “I thought the Earth wasn’t supposed to move until the honeymoon.”
1. Donald Duck
“Der Fuehrer’s Face” aka “Donald Duck in Nutzi Land” won Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film at the 15th Academy Awards Directed by Jack Kinney under Walt Disney Productions and released in 1943 by RKO Radio Pictures, it is the only Donald Duck film to receive an Academy Award till now. The film contains Wallace’s original song, “Der Fuehrer’s Face” which was actually released earlier by Spike Jones. Even the clouds and trees are shaped as swastikas in the movie to portray Hitler’s intensity on Germany at that time. In one scene of that movie, Donald faces and “Hails” the portraits of the “Fuehrer” Adolf Hitler before arriving at the factory’s bayonet-point, to starts his 48-hour daily shift screwing caps onto artillery shells in an assembly line. The same film also featured Donald getting motivated while reading Mein Kampf and wearing Nazi band in his hand. In another scene, in Donald’s nightmare, he sees the shadow of a figure holding its right hand up in the form of a Nazi salute. He begins to do so himself until he realizes that it is the shadow of a miniature of Statue of Liberty. While being proud of his United States citizenship, he embraces the statue. The movie gets more controversial when it ends with two sets of “Hails” and a tomato is thrown at a caricature of Hitler’s angry face and forms the words “The End”.
We also end here with Donald while expecting a colorful animated dream tonight, after indulging with all those cartoon characters above. Starting from black and white two-dimensional cartoons where characters hang in the air before they fall down from the cliff, till today’s state-of-the-art 3D superior animation movies, controversies and hidden messages are all there, but, what attracts most is far beyond those controversies. It is the feel that they provide while viewing those animations which always leave a mark on our memories. Irrespective of our age, we all have enjoyed, and will continue to enjoy, those cartoons from our childhood, till Popeye is happy with Olive and there is enough money in Uncle Scrooge’s bank to dive in.