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
"Then why do I REMEMBER it?!"
Ahem. On with the show...
DARKWING DUCK DIES AND IS HARASSED BY SATAN
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.
JASMINE KISSES JAFAR
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.
CYRIL SNEER ATTEMPTS TO DESTROY BRITISH COLUMBIA NUMEROUS TIMES
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.
THE ENTIRETY OF "THE PLAGUE DOGS"
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.
SKUNK KIDNAPS AND INDIRECTLY CAUSES THE DEATH OF THE LIGHT RAY ROBOT
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.
RASPUTIN'S BODY PARTS REPEATEDLY FALL OFF
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."
CAPTAIN SCURVY'S SUSPICIOUSLY WOMANLY BREASTS
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.
PETER PAN AND THE NATIVE CHIEF SING ABOUT THE "RED MAN"
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.
GEORGE AND JUNIOR KILL THEMSELVES IN THEIR FINAL SHORT
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.