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The Most Traumatizing Childhood Cartoon Moments

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Ah, childhood. That one step in our lives where we must learn about the world and ourselves to develop into normal humans. However, one wrong step, and you turn out like Shinji Ikari. Majority of you readers were born in the 80's or 90's, both of which were prime decades for cartoons. But back then, we had no politically-correct madness, no weak-willed people who whined to the TV stations, no nothing to keep out all the smoking and sexual innuendos. It was beautiful.
Even though we got DuckTales and Animaniacs, we also got a boatload of things that may have messed us up in the long run. Here, I gather some of my own traumatic moments (yet some of you may have been affected by them too) with compliant videos, for your own enjoyment and nostalgia. Only problem while compiling was asking family if they remembered me being freaked out by a cartoon.
"I don't remember you being scared by a cartoon. And I certainly don't remember you watching The Plague Dogs."
"Then why do I REMEMBER it?!"
Ahem. On with the show...


I remember one episode, "Dead Duck", where Darkwing forgot his helmet and drove into a brick wall. He died, and was whisked off by the Grim Reaper to an anthropomorphic charicature of St. Peter. From there, Satan appears and tries to get Darkwing's eternal soul. DW gets away and goes home as a ghost, discovering his own weeping family. He tries to get the suspiciously sexy duck sorceress Morgana to resurrect him, but even she can't help him. Megavolt did something too, but it's not important. After we watch all this, it turns out to be a dream. They probably added that ending at the last minute, because if all that crazy stuff really happened, our little heads would have exploded.

Where I lived, there was a huge Disney craze in the mid nineties. Especially at a place called the YMCA Daycare. Disney movies were pumped through our skulls, and we loved it. Then, there was Aladdin. Jasmine was a popular princess among us tiny girls, being that she was glamourous, a litte tomboyish, and exotic. But near the end of the movie when Jafar starts harping chaos, Jasmine concocts a diversion with Jafar, involving that she fondle his face and coo. If things couldn't get freakier, she prevents Jafar from turning his head by frenching him on the spot. All we could comfort ourselves with was the fact that had she not done that, Aladdin would never have gotten into the palace. But really, LOOK AT JAFAR. He is seriously grooving on her. This especially hit my best friend Jasmine hard, being that she was a) four years old and b) actually named after the princess.


I will admit, I used to watch The Raccoons. The first TV special showcased the darkest side of Cyril Sneer, a moneygrubbing businessman of no definite species (an aardvark, supposedly) who would violate the environment for his own desires. He smoked cigars, was completely naked except for a bowtie, and bossed around his nerdy teenage son Cedric. Of course, I find him kinda lame these days, but the last time I'd watched The Raccoons was when I was four. Back then, he was a ruthless, polluting bastard who only slightly sounded like he had a hamster stuck in his throat. To make things worse, everyone at the daycare suspected that he had a crush on Cedric's girlfriend, Sofia.

What a twisted, twisted movie. A bunch of scientists test on animals, in one case injecting the plague into two George & Lennie-esque dogs, and the two escape. From there, the two run through the forest as the government hunts them down. Of course, there's no way for the dogs to turn...either they'll go into town and spread the plague, or be killed by health officials. I never saw the ending, but I remember the rest of the picture being pretty bleak. No surprise, seeing how the studio also made "Watership Down". You 80's kids know what I'm talking about? Yeah, there you go.


Also let me note how Skunk says "his house" and "darn that man" without opening his mouth

You modern anime fans think Astro Boy is all sugar and tight shorts, right? Well, back in OUR day, we had a delightful mobster named Skunk who had blue skin, a creepy wobbly voice (thanks to the talents of a young Jay Rath), and ruthless taste for cash. In one episode that sharply takes a grim turn, Skunk kidnaps an invisible, sexually ambiguous robot and uses it for crime. Sometime after Light Ray befriends Astro, Skunk gives Light Ray a bomb and tells him to go to Astro's class Christmas party and blow up everyone. Light Ray loves the ticking of the bomb and keeps it for himself, then runs away from the town. Astro and the police go wild searching for him, but discover Light Ray is in the country, walking up to a hospital, the bomb due to explode. To make him stop, the police shoot Light Ray wth a laser at the last minute, reducing Light Ray to a pool of bubbling molten metal. Astro cries, of course. And the whole thing happens on Christmas Eve. Harsh.

This would be the number one on the list, having that I visibly showed the most fear and horror. In the movie Anastasia, which had nothing to do with the actual legend, the studio decided to portray the villain Rasputin as gruesome as possible. Of course, they decided to repeatedly show his eyes, ears and nose - even head and hands at one point -  fall off his face for no reason. Sure, this may be funny to some of you kids, but try feeding it through the mind of a literal-minded four year old. This incident resulted in forcing my mother to take the hysterical child into the hall and walk around, then go back in, and leave to walk around again. It's like when there's a dirty joke on Family Guy, you change the channel, and when you go back, Quagmire yells "PENIS" really loud. After more eye-popping chaos, we went home. Aside from showing a man's face coming off in a princess movie, the movie taught small children that it was fun to stretch historical records, and turn a royal-family monk into a zombie. I can imagine how the writer's meeting went...
"We need a villain. Anybody know of a strong Russian villain?"
"Aw, hell. Let's, uh..let's take that monk guy and make him into a wizard or something."
"Can we make his eyes fall out a couple times?"
"Shut up, Louis. You don't know what you're talking about."


I watched a lot of crazy cartoons in the day, and Donkey Kong Country was one of them. One day, watching it at daycare, a male friend pointed out something that would haunt me for the rest of the week...Captain Scurvy had boobs. Of course, majority of the show's villains were obese crocodiles - King K. Rool, that army crocodile, and some other one in a suit - but one of the character designers got the twisted idea of giving Scurvy large, noticable nipples. There's no reason for it, as no other character has them. To translate the show into a human cast, you'd also turn Scurvy into a morbidly-obese, topheavy man. And that may actually be more disturbing than the nipples in the first place.

Did I mention I was a little sensitive in this department as a child? I could take shows about singing monkeys and hedgehogs, but when it came to creepy symbolism or racial stereotypes, I was stumped.
Anyway, when I was seven and stuck in a place called Lorna's Daycare, "Peter Pan" was my favorite Disney movie. However, the one part of the movie always made us kids cringe, and that was the celebration after Peter Pan saves Tger Lily, where all the kids gather with the Native American tribe and ask, "Yo, Chief! How come your culture is different from ours?" From there, we see the most racist 1953 stereotypes that Disney could jam into three minutes. Their song explains, and I am not making this up, that their skin is red because one of their guys kissed a girl and blushed so hard that his skin turned permanently red. And since Tiger Lily was the only person to look remotely Native, they made her do some sort of ho-dance to compensate.
I may have been a kid at the time, but even then I knew that all this stuff was screwy. Taking into account the city I live in, we have a lot of Native-American people around. Why, if you go onto 22nd Street and yell "RED MAN", you'll have eighteen fists in your face and one foot up your ass before you can tell what's going on. But they say it several times in this movie. Holy hell.


I have been searching for "Half-Pint Pygmy" for eight years.
As I mentioned before, I was stuck in a place called Lorna's Daycare that would have been hell, had she not had a huge stock of videos. There were at least nine public-domain cartoon tapes, four of which we couldn't watch becase Lorna warned they had racist cartoons. After enjoying one tape, we demanded another. Specifically, we asked to see "the one with the bears on the cover." Most of the shorts on that tape were one of George and Junior, MGM's answer to "Of Mice and Men". But as the last one goes, the two hunt for "the world's smallest pygmy", because that's what people did in the fourties. After a grueling chase with the tiny, stereotypical pygmy, they discover there's actually an even smaller pygmy. Their response? They flip out shotguns, pull down the screen and shoot themselves in the head. You can hear the blasts, too. Rewatching, I still find it disturbing. You can bet Lorna showed never us THAT tape again.

...And that wraps things up. Keep in mind that I was not a soft child - I grew up on DuckTales and Looney Tunes - but something would have to seriously be askew for it to disturb me. Another thing to note was how many gangs, mafias, robots, and rabbits in my childhood cartoons, which also may have messed me up in the long run. Oh well. Adds to the fun of childhood, and the toons that made me the dork I am today. Viva la 1997.

All written material here is 2007-2011 Fauna Crawford, along with any images identified as such. All other copyrights belong to their respective owners and creators. Permission is required to use any original material from this site.