As I sit and watch cartoons with my children these days, I notice quite a stark difference between the content now portrayed compared to what I remember watching as a child myself. Illustrators and writers are more aware of what will be deemed inappropriate, and they go to great lengths to avoid anything controversial. It wasn’t always this way.
Here are 10 times that cartoons from my childhood crossed a line into, “did that just really happen?”
1. Rugrats – Tommy and Angelica’s head.
I am sure that no one drew this up intentionally, in fact, without the screen shot most people would not likely have noticed that this happened. But, Tommy did look like he was getting a little too comfortable with a replica of his cousin’s head.
2. Ren and Stimpy – the Log Song.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that the “Log Song” was obviously a reference to “sporting wood.” We’re not all that shocked to be honest, Ren and Stimpy crossed the line every time one of the episodes was on television.
3. Aladdin, the animated series – Aladdin gets mounted.
Aladdin the animated series came out to piggyback on the success of the movie. Now this was likely by no means intentional, but it definitly looks like Aladdin is being “mounted” by Rajah. It looks worse than it probably is…
4. Pokemon – Lickitung can get a little awkward.
Anytime you get into the world of anime things can get a little dicey, translations and drawings can be confused when you’re bringing them to an English audience. No one seemed to notice how bad this particular scene looked. Judge for yourself.
5. Donald Duck gets “visibly excited.”
I don’t think that I can justifiably defend this particular scene. I truly don’t think it just slipped past the editing team, my best guess is that it was done intentionally. Regardless, I didn’t realize what I had seen until I got a little older.
6. Tom and Jerry, Tom also gets “visibly excited.”
I’m kind of at a loss for words on this one. I don’t understand what the point in adding that extra appendage to this drawing actually accomplished other than make us all feel a little awkward. If the illustrators were trying to be funny, they missed the mark, subtlety would have been better.
7. Spongebob Squarepants – Squidward takes some hot soup in the eye.
I might be stretching it here a little bit, but the image of Squidward getting hit in the eyes with a stream of hot soup, while smiling I might add, is a little unnerving. In context or not, it still looks really bad.
8. Thundercats – meow…
This is likely out of context, but the visual is striking for how poorly timed it is. I’ll leave it up to you to judge.
9. Spongebob makes the list again – the condom balloon.
Most of us have done this at least once in our lives, blowing up a condom into a balloon. But the entire visual of this scene taking place is a little surreal. Note his cheeks as he is inflating the “balloon.”
10. Michelangelo gets a little too handsy with April.
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were very close with their friend and confidant, April O’Neil. In this case I think that friendship was tested with Mikey crossing some lines during this scene from the classic cartoon.