cut it out! - a guide to shortened cartoons (and a fun request)
[via Ultimate Insult]
Poor Bugs Bunny. We'll never know for sure how many of his lines, and those of his buddies, have fallen to the cutting room floor in the name of political correctness, but we get a good idea of the cuts from Censored Looney Tunes.
Granted, some of the cut scenes were completely offensive, albeit a product of their time. But some of them reek of the culture of non-responsibility, wherein behaviors seen on television might cause a viewer to repeat those behaviors, thus engaging in something they shouldn't, causing havoc, and then turning around and suing the creators of the program and/or the television station that aired it for putting those nasty ideas in their head in the first place.
The following are all scenes that have actually been cut from cartoons. The reasons given are made up by me, of course, but that doesn't mean they don't have a basis in reality.
"Apes of Wrath" (Freleng; 1959): ABC: The entire beginning sequence wherein the drunken stork clubs Bugs on the head to substitute him for the real baby ape was gone. Also edited was the mother gorilla running after her husband and bashing his head with a rolling pin. Further, scenes of Bugs "playfully" hitting Elvis with a stick were shortened.
Reason: May cause children to believe that storks bring babies, thus making the whole concept of pre-k sex education confusing.
"Baby Buggy Bunny" (Jones; 1954): ABC: The scene wherein Bugs puts Baby Face Finster in the washing machine after Finster has played with the "dirty money" was removed from this cartoon. Also gone was Bugs throwing Finster up in the air, saying, "Oh dear, I do believe I have forgotten my fudge," walking away, and letting Finster land flat on his face; the cut was done so that it appeared that Finster fell from atop a bookshelf. Deleted too was Bugs learning painfully the truth about Finster's "toy" gun. "Yeesh, some toy!"
Reason: The censors did not have the sense of humor required to understand that this was one of the best episodes ever. May cause adults to abuse children or launder money.
"Beep, Beep!" (Jones; 1952): Nickelodeon: In the original version of this cartoon, Wile E. Coyote falls off of a cliff and before he hits gorge bottom, he swallows two Aspirin. Nickelodeon removed the Aspirin.
Falling off of a cliff is all fine and dandy, kids. But whatever you do, DO NOT TAKE THE ASPIRIN! Good thing we realized in time that aspirin is a gateway drug.
"One Froggy Evening" (Jones; 1955): ABC: The sign that reads, "Free Beer," that is placed outside of the theatre in the man's attempt to attract customers was excised. WB: Same edit as on ABC.
Reason: The beer industry issued a cease and desist letter to Warner Brothers.
"Fright Before Christmas" (Freleng; 1979): ABC: Missing was the Tasmanian Devil eating Christmas tree bulbs and chain lights and electrifying himself as Bugs reads Clyde's "brief" Christmas want list that includes a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde chemical set.
Reason: The ACLU was concerned that this clip would suggest that only Catholics and Christians could electrocute themselves during the holiday season.
And now, for the interactive fun portion of the blog!
There's more, more, more where these came from. There's also another site with a list of cuts. Go find one of the deleted scenes and come up with your own reason for the cut. Come on, make me laugh so I can forget that Friday is so far away.
Oh, and go watch Wakkiki Wabbit, one of the best episodes ever. W're gonna have woast wabbit!
UPDATE: Phil has the good news that they will be releasing the uncut, uncensored versions of the MM and LT cartoons on DVD in October.