1. Tiny Toon Adventures- Elephant Issues (mostly because of the ‘One Beer’substory).
Was it based on good intentions or was it meant to mock morality tales to children? While “Elephant Issues” (was mistaken for the term ‘relevant issues’ at least in the storyline) the first two sub stories dealt with encouraging children to read and turn off the TV, and dealing with prejudice and school bullies respectfully; the third story is what angered many parents and then some. The sub story called ‘One Beer’ (written by Wayne Kaatz and Nicholas Hollander) was to discourage its audience from drinking beer and maybe other adult beverages. Looney Tunes wanna bees Buster Bunny, Plucky Duck and Hampton Pig all take a sip of a beer that they discover in a refrigerator, and that one sip gets them buzzed. They show all the consequences of drinking…. up to drunk driving and death itself. This episode would never be air again on most outlets that carried TTA (with the exception of The Hub and Canada’s Teletoon) due do that morality tale of drinking alcohol. The complete “Elephant Issues” episode is on the second season DVD release of “Tiny Toon Adventures.”
2. Cow and Chicken- Buffalo Gals
These human Gals with buffalo head costumes were indeed biker lesbians and basically raided the show’s led characters house and home. They loved chewing the carpet and were fans of baseball. So why make them into lesbians? What was the reasoning behind this? Just another bad lesbian joke that needed to be told? Yet this was a cartoon show for the kiddies.
3. Popetown-The Complete Series
This series is about some kid who doodles and makes up stories about life in Popetown (which is a sendup of Vatican City). The lead character is Father Nicholas who is the “handler” for The Pope (he does not have a name in this series), who is depicted as a foolish person with a maturity of a very young child. The show by design was controversial, but devout Roman Catholics made sure it did not go to air not only the UK but in America as well. It did air in New Zealand and in Germany (in spite of a law that prohibits mocking faith groups). It did get a DVD release in the UK, but in America you can only rely on those who uploaded the series to Youtube and other filesharing sites.
4. Family Guy – Partial Terms of Endearment
The 1970’s sitcom “Maude” which started Bea Arthur in the title roledealt with the issue of Maude’s choice to have an abortion and it seemed that writer Danny Smith wanted to take that famous storyline to the next level, and with Seth MacFarlane’s approval. After all, “Family Guy” is best known for mocking television nostalgia. To make this entry short, Lois Griffin decides to become a surrogate mother and then backs out in the end, but not before the episode itself mocked anti-abortion/pro-life activists. Fox Broadcasting forbid that this episode ever air on their network, at least until the cable channel Adult Swim aired it. The episode’s title only mocks the early 80’s movie “Terms of Endearment” by name only. The “Partial” part of the title refers likely to the partial-birth abortion procured known professionally as Intact dilation and extraction (Intact D&E’ or Intact D&X).
5. The Powerpuff Girls – See Me, Feel Me, Gnomey
This episode which played for the whole half hour is a sendup of the rock operas of the late 1960’s and early 70’s. The episode’s title is a send up of the motif in The Who’s “Tommy.” The plot has the protagonists giving up their powers to a gnome only to realize he wants to force everyone into his personality cult. Naturally they resend the gnome’s evil deal and sent him back from to where he came from. No reports on any complaints, so is this episode just an embarrassment to the writers and producers or what? It happens. I wrote professional stuff that I am ashamed to have my name on. It happens to most if not all of us.
6. Betty Boop–Ha! Ha! Ha!
In her time, Betty Boop pushed the envelopewith her short dress. In this story she tries to be a makeshift dentist, but she messes around with the Nitrous oxide way too much, and causes the whole city to laugh like crazy. Talked about getting the entire town drugged up. That ideal sounds creepy to some and likely why it is not seen on TV.
7. Pokemon -Cyber Soldier Porygon
There were two other episodes that got censored, but this is the one that almost killed the franchise. The repetitive visual effects in this story induced photosensitive epileptic seizures in a reported number of 685 television viewers in Japan. Guidelines for dealing with these kinds of effects were implemented and this episode never aired anywhere on the planet again. At least we can play ‘Pokemon Go’ on our smart phones these days.
8. Beavis And Butthead -Comedians
This was the episode in which they had to tone down these idiot’s love of fire. A five-year-old kid actually recreated a scene from this cartoon and actually burned down his parents’ trailer home. It got his two-year-old sister killed. How Tom & Jerry never got into trouble like this, we shall never know. Other than being a cat and mouse, you could say that T&J are professional at dark slap stick humor, and there were enough people that were originally adults when they first saw them. They had censorship issues of their own which they managed to overcome. So did these Metal heads, but they are no T&J.
9. Garbage Pail KidsThe Complete Series
This show was supposed to air on CBS’s Saturday morning lineup in the 1988-89 season. Garbage Pail Kids was in itself a satire of the more popular Cabbage Patch Kids. Garbage Pail Kids focused on the baseball styled cards, while the Cabbage Patch Kids were dolls. The series premise was that a core group of GPK’s would help those in need. However, educational TV advocates and other conservative and/or Christian groups protested and were successful in cutting off sponsors. The only thing that CBS could do after dropping GPK, was expand its more popular “Muppet Babies” to an hour and a half for only this season. Smart move CBS, for investing in a show that was set up to fail. All was not lost. It got a DVD release in America in 2006. The series was cleared in at least nine countries including the UK, Spain, Brazil, Italy, and even in Israel.
10. The Young AstronautsScrapped
The real-lifetragedy of the Space Shuttle Challengerdisaster in January 1986 sadly killed this promising show. The show was actually supposed to go to air in the fall of 1985, but apparently the show was not ready. The show which was commissioned by Marvel Productions for CBS, would focus on a 21st Century family who resided on a transport ship. However, the live action reality educational micro series “Astro Minute” (also produced by Marvel Productions) did make it to air which followed repeats of the Hanna-Barbara adaption of Harvey Comics “Richie Rich.” CBS also had another bust in the 1985-86 season with the creative failure of the live action “Jim Henson’s Little Muppet Monsters” (which was pulled after three episodes and allowing Muppet Babies to go for at least an hour for that show’s respected run) but they were riding high on Hulkamania with the animated series “Hulk Hogan’s Rock N’ Wrestling” which was a co-production of the WWE and DiC Enterprises.
11. Dexter’s Laboratory -Dial M For Monkey: Barbequor
Dexter’s Laboratory featured a segment that was focused on Dexter’s pet Monkey who unknowingly to Dexter is a superhero. However, the writers wherenot so smart in making a mockery of certain characters from Marvel Comics. That being Galactus (renamed Barbequor for this story) and the Sliver Surfer who was called Sliver Spooner. Do I hear some sexual innuendo or even some Gay bashing here? Smart to self-censor this one before Stan Lee turns green and mean on you. Good thing that he has lawyers to hold Stan at bay before he can do any property damage.
12. Song of the South-Full length motion picture This acclaimed live action/animated hybrid 1946 movie for Walt Disney was a product of its time. It was an animated adaption of the Uncle Remus tales that Disney himself wanted to bring to the big screen. It was a Box Office success, but over time the African American stereotypes became politically incorrect and that dashed any hope of ever breaking out this movie from the ‘Disney Vault’ and into your home DVD player once again. Need we forget about one congressman comparing then President Barack Obama (regardless of your political leaning) to a ‘tar baby?’ Oh well, we can still sing “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah.” Personally, I would like to see that song scrapped as well. Good thing “Ducktales” got re-imagined. Now the respected theme to that show, I really like.
13. Bugs Bunny Nips the Nips-Animated short subject
For its time, it was mocking the Japanese who at the time were our sworn enemies along with the Germans in World War II. It is not part of the censored 11, and it passed the “United Artists” test. But mocking can go a little too far, so this is one Bugs Bunny cartoon you will have to do without kids.
14. The Legend of Calamity Jane-The Complete Series
The WB heavily promoted this show as part of their 1997-98 Kids WB lineup. After airing just three episodes, WB decided to pull the show. The show was gritty (including graphic violence and maybe pushing the sex that is not appropriate for show in a kids lineup. Even if it was just skin), and the animation had a European touch. Well it was an American/French partnership after all. The complete series aired in France in Canada. It would also be screened completely in Portugal in 2002.
15. The Blues Brothers-Scrapped
If Film Romanwere intending this show for any kidvid lineup, then you know it had to be scrapped. The movie itself is associated with drug use, and don’t get me started about John Belushi and his lack of ability to lay off the Coke. Cocaine that is. Film Roman did many adult cartoons for Fox including “King of Hill,” “Family Guy,” and above all “The Simpsons.” They also did their share of shows for the kids including “Bobby’s World” and “Garfield & Friends.” In fact, Film Roman was created to carry on the work of more Garfield animated programs after Lee Mendelson and Bill Melendez wanted to get back to the focus of producing the Peanuts/Charlie Brown specials and series at the time. Well with ‘broadcast kidvid’ nothing but an educational/informational (or E/I) utopiathese days, there is now another attempt to do an animated Blues Brothers the right way. Targeting it towards the adults.