General Question

scamp's avatar

Are cartoons really just for kids?

Asked by scamp (13124points) May 18th, 2008

We’ve all heard the urban legends about the phallic symbol snuck onto the label of Disney’s Little Mermaid, and the sex scene hidden in the clouds in the Lion King. I was just wondering how many other things fly under our ‘radar’ when we let our kids sit to watch cartoons.

I was just watching an old episode of Woody Woodpecker with a neighbor kid, and there is a reference to opium smoking in it. (watch the video. It’s on the list of rules Wally the Walrus shows Woody.) This made me wonder how many other things we think are innocent enough actually have hidden innuendos not meant for children.

Does anyone have any examples you’d care to share? Why do you think the cartoon makers do this?

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23 Answers

AstroChuck's avatar

On an episode of “Rugrats” while the family was watching some boring slideshow the grandpa picked up the phone and said, “Hello, Dr. Kevortkian?” I don’t think that was for the demographic audience.

AstroChuck's avatar

Also, on a “SpongeBob Squarepants” episode, after Mr. Krabs flushes Plankton down the toilet he says, “And now for the chaser.” Definately got the adults, don’t you think?

DeezerQueue's avatar

Definitely not just for kids. Watch some old Rocky and Bullwinkle and accompanying Cracked Fairy Tales.

AstroChuck's avatar

That’s “Fractured Fairy Tales” and you’re right about those Bullwinkle cartoons

DeezerQueue's avatar

Thanks, Astro, for the correction!

scamp's avatar

Here are a couple more I found: Porky pig and even Daffy Duck.

Wine3213's avatar

Maybe I was just hearing things, but did anyone ever think that the Animaniacs had some jokes that were not for children?

scamp's avatar

I remember Darkwing Duck used to say “suck gas evil doers”, but when said it, it sounded like he was saying suck ass.

Seesul's avatar

Rocky and Bullwinkle was written as a tongue in cheek parody of the Cold War with the Soviets, written while it was going on. Many animated features, such as those by Pixar are written for both sides of the demographics, so adults can enjoy them along with their children and thus bring in a higher box office. Cars was probably the best, most recent example of this.

AstroChuck's avatar

“For the love of Chrysler!”

marinelife's avatar

No way! Some aren’t for kids at all. Two words: Raph Bakshi.

xyzzy's avatar

Go watch Grave of the Fireflies and then tell me cartoons are just for kids.

This is an excellent film that should shatter your preconceptions about what kinds of stories can be told with animation, but it’s the kind of film you can watch only once.

xyzzy's avatar

I remember this one episode of SpongeBob where he was home watching nature a show with live sponges, coral, etc. Someone knocks on his door and he quickly changes the channel before whoever comes in. The obvious innunendo is that SpongeBob was watching sponge porn.

Babo's avatar

Babo loves cartoons!!!

noraasnave's avatar

nobody has mentioned the obvious ones of late years: Shrek movies!

AtSeDaEsEpPoAoSnA's avatar

Has anyone ever gone back and watched movies(not just cartoons) they grew up with. I watch movies all the time with lines and catch-phrases, or foul comedy I never caught when I was a kid. I think its alittle more creative, even though some have suggestive humor and innuendos. Maybe its subconsiously preping our children for the forever changing adult world, and it will make it easier for them to relate more efficiently(grow up faster). I think the individual is a very interesting thing, they are all different. Could be hurting, could be helping.

AstroChuck's avatar

Have you ever noticed some of the blatant racism in many of these 50+ year old cartoons?

marinelife's avatar

@AC I am still furious at Warner Brothers for ruining so many great pieces of classical music for me. I am sure it is not what the composers had in mind to see animated ‘toons dancing in my head when a piece is played.

AstroChuck's avatar

I hope you don’t feel the same about Disney and Fantasia. I love Fantasia and to a lesser extent, Fantasia 2000.

marinelife's avatar

@AC Totally different. No, I mean like the morning music from Peer Gynt that used as an anthem for any morning scene.

scamp's avatar

@AstroChuck You mean like Song of the South?

AstroChuck's avatar

I was thinking of various Warner Bros. shorts but Disney is guilty of it as well. Song of the South as well as one scene in Fantasia and the crows from Dumbo are good examples.

AstroChuck's avatar

@Marina- They also often use a section from the overture to Rossini’s William Tell for some morning scenes.
Not the Lone Ranger theme, of course, but the pastoral part.

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