Cartoons are some of the most watched shows on television and are beloved by everyone from children to adults. Although they have such a large audience, the content isn’t always suitable for all of its viewers. Some of the content has been deemed so inappropriate that scenes, episodes and even the entire series has been banned in certain places. Here’s a list of shows and the reasons why they were banned.
1. SpongeBob SquarePants
The animated series SpongeBob SquarePants follows the lives of the title character and his companions who live in Bikini Bottom. What started off as a Nickelodeon cartoon became a billion-dollar franchise with millions of fans around the world. Despite its popularity, SpongeBob hasn’t always gotten it right which led to a bit of censoring. In a season 3 episode, SpongeBob, Patrick and Mr. Krabs break into a woman’s house and steal her undergarments. In a season 12 episode, a health inspector forced everyone to quarantine in Krusty Krab restaurant after an outbreak. Both episodes were banned, never to be played again.
2. Steven Universe
Steven Universe first aired on Cartoon Network in 2013 and ran until 2019. Centered around the title character and a group of aliens called the Crystal Gems, the series often showed them saving the world. As much as people enjoyed watching the series, some governments didn’t think that some of the show’s LGBTQ+ themes were appropriate for the general public. According to Cartoon Network UK, edits were made to make them “more comfortable for local kids and their parents.” On the other side of the pond, the series won a GLAAD Media Award, a Primetime Emmy, and a Peabody Award.
3. Cow and Chicken
Cow and Chicken was an animated series that aired throughout the 1990s and told the story of the odd-sibling duo, the cow named Cow and her brother, Chicken, a chicken. The series initially included a devil named The Red Guy, who was often shown walking around without any clothing, which didn’t always sit well with parents. Additionally, some episodes had to be removed for stereotyping and discrimination. In one episode, a group of motorcycle-riding women were shown enjoying sports like softball, and being generally confused by men. After swift criticism, it was removed from the air.
Talespin, an animated series adapted from the 1967 film, The Jungle Book, told the story of Baloo the Bear and his friends as they try to revive a cargo business with its fair share of obstacles. It’s a Disney series so it’s surprising that any episode would be banned, but one was. In that episode, a character was tricked into delivering an explosive. The episode was named for its terror-esque themes. Disney accidented re-aired the episode which was later banned for good.
5. Winnie the Pooh
Winnie the Pooh is the second Disney entry on this list and you’re probably wondering what the lovable bear did to be banned by anyone. Well, in case you’ve been hiding under a rock, you’d know that the franchise is banned in China, and it’s not even Winnie’s fault. In 2017, Winnie was compared to China’s president Xi Jinping, and it went viral. Government officials immediately shut it down and Pooh Bear has not been seen in China ever since.
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