“The Censored Eleven” are the unofficial eleven animated shorts that have been banned, censored, or edited from public consumption and haven’t been seen by most in America. While some of the shorts have been released with a commentary about its social and political context, most are strictly taboo. In this limited series, we’ll review the censored eleven and figure out why these titles are still very volatile.
Sunday Go to Meetin’ Time (1936)
Mel Blanc was a genius, and with the driving force of his multi-faceted voice work for Warner Bros. on the Looney Tunes library, he managed to pack a lot of power and life in to some of the most iconic cartoon characters of all time. From Porky Pig, Daffy Duck, Foghorn Leghorn, and Tweety, to Sylvester, Elmer Fudd, and yes, Bugs Bunny, he gave them personality, idiosyncrasies, and quirks that made them feel alive, even though they were animated.
Originally a wacky ne’er do well, Bugs Bunny turned in to a sly and quick witted under dog hero whose humility and charm was contradicted by his sharp wit, and ability to out match any villain mentally. Except for that damn tortoise. But that’s another story for another day. Bugs Bunny is easily the best cartoon character of all time, and he’s managed to pack more laughs than most iconic cartoon characters combined. Paying tribute to ol’ Bugsy in the new year, we count down our top ten Bugs Bunny toons of all time!
How do you even describe the riches behind “Academy Awards Animated Collection”? As an animation geek, and a film geek who follow the Oscars, this is such an immaculate and extraordinary DVD set with some of the best animated shorts ever produced. From “Knighty Knight Bus,” to “Superman,” this has some of the best animated shorts ever concocted, and it brings together all nominated shorts, and winners from Warner Bros. with three entire discs. In the discs there are some utterly fantastic attached and optional commentary from Paul Dini who explores Superman, animation historians who discuss Popeye Meets Sinbad the Sailor.
Fans of my Volume 1 reviews, stand at attention, rejoice, and testify, for we are here with reviews for Volume 2 of “Animaniacs” and “Pinky and the Brain,” the gorgeous collections for animations fans, and fans of the series. Guilty on both counts, suckas. So, for this time around, “Animaniacs” and its spin-off really seem to come into their own. Where as the first volume was more of them feeling their oats, the writing team really exercises the comedy for this go around, particularly with “Animaniacs.”
For all the grief animation gets, “Animaniacs” is both a show for adults and children. While we have mallets, and anvils, we also have funny one-liners set to a “Moby Dick” spoof, and inside jokes referencing the likes of Groucho Marx, Milton Berle, and the great Madeline Khan whose own personality is reflected in an episode of Rita and Runt as they stumble on a Frankenstein scientist who looks an awful lot like the late comedienne a la Mel Brooks.
If you’re a child of the nineties, you’ll remember that back then, animated series had texture. They weren’t like today where it was colorful and filled with characters with no basic coherent storyline. Back then animated series had stories, arcs, brains, and influence. Gems like “Talespin”, “Captain Planet”, and “Mighty Max” were what made animation so incredible. But they were intimidating, and that’s why networks sought out to bring them down and cancel them.
Such is the case for “Animaniacs”, which was so influential, the network sought out to sabotage its presence by dumbing down its clever and sharp gags and historical references, and forcing it to include educational interludes that never fit with the program and talked down to its audience.
The Looney tunes are still funny and “Back in Action” has that sparkle of what made the Looney tunes hours of fun. Right away, we do get a glimpse of the tunes during a brief skit in which Bugs and Daffy interact in their Duck Season Rabbit Season routine, not to mention we get a lot of fun cameos. While the plot has been done before it sure is a lot of fun to see an interesting Looney Tunes movie that not only has fun but really points out a lot of great pop culture references.