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Looney Tunes/Merrie Melodies Censored Eleven, 1 - 4

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The Censored Eleven is a group of Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies cartoons that were withheld from syndication by United Artists (UA) in 1968. UA owned the distribution rights to the Associated Artists Productions library at that time, and decided to pull these eleven cartoons from broadcast because the depictions of black people in the cartoons were deemed too offensive for contemporary audiences. The ban has been upheld by UA and the successive owners of the pre-August 1948 Looney Tunes/Merrie Melodies catalog to this day, and these shorts have not been officially broadcast on television since 1968.

1) Hittin' the Trail for Hallelujah Land (1931) - ::CENSORED ELEVEN:: 1 of 11
Description: Hittin' the Trail for Hallelujah Land is a Merrie Melodies animated cartoon directed by Rudy Ising (uncredited), produced by Leon Schlesinger Productions, and released to theatres on November 28, 1931 by Warner Bros. Pictures and The Vitaphone Corporation. The minimal storyline centers on the plucky Piggy's efforts to rescue his girlfriend and a doglike Uncle Tom from perilous predicaments and villains. The short's stereotypical portrayal of black characters prompted United Artists to withhold it from syndication in 1968, making it one of the infamous Censored Eleven. It was the second Merrie Melodies film to be released.

2)
Sunday Go to Meetin' Time (1936) - ::CENSORED ELEVEN:: 2 of 11

Description: Sunday Go to Meetin' Time is a Merrie Melodies animated cartoon directed by Friz Freleng, produced by Leon Schlesinger Productions, and released to theaters on August 8, 1936 by Warner Bros. Pictures and The Vitaphone Corporation. The plot follows the misadventures of a black man in the stereotypical minstrel show and coon song mold. He sneaks out of church and soon finds himself in hell. There, he learns the error of his ways, and when he wakes up again in the living world, he makes haste to the church. The short's stereotypical portrayal of black characters prompted United Artists to withhold it from distribution in 1968, making it one of the infamous Censored Eleven.

3) Clean Pastures (1937) - ::CENSORED ELEVEN:: 3 of 11
Description: Clean Pastures is a Merrie Melodies animated cartoon directed by I. Freleng, produced by Leon Schlesinger, and released to theatres on May 22, 1937 by Warner Bros. and Vitaphone. The cartoon is a parody of Warner Bros.' 1936 film, The Green Pastures. It tells of an ersatz Heaven called "Pair-O-Dice" and its angels' efforts to win souls from "Hades Inc." A Stepin Fetchit caricature fails to recruit any souls in Harlem, New York City. However, jazz-singing angels incorporate "rhythm" into the pitch, and Harlem's African Americans follow them as they dance their way to Heaven. Schlesinger and Warner Bros. had problems with Clean Pastures from the start. Hollywood censors alleged that the film ran afoul of the Hays Production Code because it burlesqued religion. Later commentators surmise that the censors also objected to the portrayal of a Heaven run by African Americans. In 1968, the short's stereotypical portrayal of black characters prompted United Artists to withhold it from distribution as one of the infamous Censored Eleven.

4)
Uncle Tom's Bungalow (1937) ::CENSORED ELEVEN:: 4 of 11
Description: Uncle Tom's Bungalow is a Merrie Melodies animated cartoon directed by Tex Avery, and released to theatres on July 12, 1937 by Warner Bros. The short cartoon is a parody of the 1852 novel, Uncle Tom's Cabin and the "plantation melodrama" genre of the 1930s. It contains many stereotypical portrayals of black characters. . The cartoon plays off of the Harriet Beecher Stowe novel in that it portrays Uncle Tom as an old man, and wooden shacks and cotton fields pervade the scenery. Director Tex Avery adds his own sense of humor and "trickster" animation, giving the classic theme a modern, humorous twist. In 1968 the cartoon became a part of the infamous Censored Eleven, a group of cartoons banned from syndication by the United Artists due to the controversy surrounding their racially stereotypical content.




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