Remember the good old days when you could sit a little too close to the TV (while your mum told you it’ll hurt your eyes and make you go blind) and enjoy some innocent uncomplicated fun with your favourite cartoons? Well, it turns out that some (maybe even all) of those good old-fashioned innocent cartoons really weren’t. From smoking to chain smoking and propaganda, some of your most cherished childhood characters have all had their darker moments. So sit back, relax and let us ruin your beloved childhood memories:
10. Donald Duck As A Nazi?
Admittedly this is from a piece of anti-Nazi propaganda, the narrative is all a dream caused by evil Nazis flying into Donald’s bum. While this wasn’t created to show support for the Third Reich in anyway, it is still quite striking to see the famous Disney duck dressed up in Nazi uniform. It’s certainly not something that would be acceptable to air today.
9. Goofy Was A Chain Smoker
Maybe this was one of those “just put it in” moments no one gave much thought to back in the day or maybe it was an insidious marketing technique, whatever the case, you’d be surprised just how much booze and tobacco there was in kids shows. Here’s Goofy in some slightly more normal clothes, showing the younger generation how to cope with the stresses of adulthood.
8. The Flinstones Used To Sell Cigarrettes
I’d ask what they were smoking when they decided this was a good idea but I think they made that pretty clear.
7. Even Tom & Jerry Were Partial To A Smoke
To be fair this is probably less of a bad example to set than their constant efforts to maim and injure each other. When all’s said and done this is comparatively civil, comparatively.
6. Disney Had A Sick Sense Of Humor
It’s amazing how dark the humor in early Disney cartoons could get. Just check out the top right-hand corner of this still from ‘The Three Little Pigs’.
5. Wait What Is He Looking At?
Admittedly this is one that’s only wrong in hindsight, there was no way they could have known that it would turn out to be real and also an adult video site… right? Right?
4. A Guy Is Flat Out Murdered In Beauty & The Beast… By One Of The ‘Good Guys’
Remember the climax of the film where the angry mob invades and the furniture/servants do their best to comically hold them at bay ‘Disney style’? Well, amongst all the cartoonish violence is this bit, where the giant-ass wardrobe crushes a guy. There is no way he survived that, not even in a Disney film, and he’s shown not to have moved an inch for several scenes after. However bad the Beast might have been he wasn’t a murderer, but is wardrobe was.
3. The Smurfs Kill Someone… With A Song
You wouldn’t think the jolly innocent Smurfs were capable of rubbing someone out like that, I mean they aren’t exactly threatening. Even at their most murderous they stay pretty jolly. This is what death by Smurf looks like. The creepiest part is that this murder by music scene is part of The Smurfs Christmas Special.
I’d make a joke using lyrics from ‘Killing Me Softly’, if it weren’t for all the screaming. The jolly non-christmassy song mostly drowns out his screaming… but it’s there. Lesson learnt, don’t mess with the Smurfs!
2. Tom & Jerry Commit Suicide
Yup, you heard me, there is a real Tom & Jerry cartoon that ends with a suicide attempt. Way to teach kids to deal with depression. As violent as Tom & Jerry ever got it was mostly consequence free, but ’Blue Cat Blues’ is pretty dark by anyone’s standards.
1. How Disney Heroes Dispose Of Bodies
Remember when Zazu says “He’d make a very handsome throw rug” well now we know he wasn’t messing around. Not only did The Lion King apparently take place in the same universe as Hercules but it happened before the infamous adventures of the ancient Greek hero. All it takes to make the connection are the casually discarded remains of another character. Well played Zazu, well played!
It’s a wrap people! Tell us which cartoon moment shocked you or better still has left you scared for life. We’re listening.