Disturbingly Racist Cartoon Moments 

By Abby N.

These examples come from a compilation from Cinematics, and let me tell you, I was not expecting to know almost all of these cartoons!

  • “Southern Fried Rabbit” (1953): Bugs Bunny poses as a slave to fool a confederate soldier. He paints himself brown, wears rags, and plays the banjo while singing country music. 
  • “Peter Pan” (1953): The musical number “What Makes The Red Man Red” is perceived as a wholesome and fun scene in Peter Pan, but the way the Native Americans are shown on screen is highly stereotypical. They are all red-skinned, shirtless, and have no eyes as their long hair covers them. The kids are dressed like the Natives as well but do not call them Native Americans. They call them racist names like Red Skins and Indians. 
  • “Santa’s Workshop” (1932): Santa is seen checking dolls to see if they are good to go for all the kids. A white doll comes down the conveyor belt and Santa picks her up. He tells her to say “Mama” which she does, and she gets to go in his bag of toys. After she goes in, a black doll with excessive black stereotypical features comes down the conveyor belt. She then says “Mammy,” which is a black mother or caretaker, and leaps into Santa’s bag while Santa laughs hysterically. 
  • “The Three Little Pigs” (1933): The Big Bad Wolf tries to trick the little pigs by pretending to sell brushes as a Jewish seller, speaking in a Yiddish accent and wearing oversized clothes. 
  • “Fantasia” (1940): A black centaur with very stereotypical features named Sunflower was seen cleaning the hoofs and putting flowers in the tail of a white centaur. Later she was removed from the movie completely instead of addressing the situation or re-animating her as a central character. 
  • “You’re a Snap, Mr. Jap” (1942): The Popeye short was war propaganda for America during WWII. It was anti-Japanese and extremely racist. A Japanese soldier is seen with stereotypical small eyes, big teeth, and a heavy accent and has an excessively large can of gasoline and firecrackers. He then drinks the gasoline and eats the firecrackers and lights them on fire in his mouth to try and kill himself. 
  • “Popeye’s Pappy” (1952): Popeye is seen punching native Africans into a fence where he puts a sign on one of them that says “Cheaper By The Dozen.” 
  • “Mickey’s Mellerdrammer” (1933): Mickey and his friends are seen getting ready to perform in blackface. Mickey gets dressed in rags and then lights an explosive in his face to change the color of his skin. He then says “Mammy” as practice. 

As you can see, your childhood favorite cartoons are darker than you thought.