Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The 11 cartoon you can't show on television

Check out this article from The Root calling for a DVD release of the so-called Censored 11-a group of Looney Tunes shorts that have been kept under wraps for the past 40+ years because they contain black caricatures and stereotypes.

Run for cover! That rubber nose is loaded!

Much in the same way Disney balked on the idea on releasing Song of the South as part of the more collector and historian-oriented Disney Treasures DVDs, apparently some of the best animation the Golden Age has to offer is off limits because there are black characters in it.

I can see not wanting to air these cartoons for kids on mid-day television, (not that Looney Tunes get aired on TV anymore) which was the main idea of the Censored 11, but on DVD it can easily be marketed to the adults that want to see it.

As the article mentions, Charlie Chan grossly caricaturized Asians as much as (probably more than) these cartoons caricaturize African Americans. And there are dozens of DVD releases for those films.

Left: Completely offensive and should never see daylight. Right: A-Okay!

Plus, none of these cartoons were hateful or mean-spirited toward blacks, and compared to WWII cartoons aimed at lampooning the Japanese they're downright quaint.

I'm against outside censorship and believe all media should be readily accessible, even if it's the stuff giant media conglomerates would rather people forget.

Warners already has their Warner Archive site that sells print-on-demand DVDs of old and obscure movies from the Warner Bros. catalog. Why not dump those and any other unreleased Looney Tunes on there where you can make a buck off the cartoon nerds and the squares are none the wiser?

I'm sure the lure of profits can soften even the grip of decades of over-zealous censorship.

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