Cover image for Forbidden animation : censored cartoons and blacklisted animators in America
Forbidden animation : censored cartoons and blacklisted animators in America
Cohen, Karl F.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Jefferson, N.C. : McFarland & Co., [1997]

Physical Description:
230 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
NC1766.5.C45 C64 1997 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



A history of censorship in the animation industry.

Author Notes

Karl F. Cohen teaches animation history classes at San Francisco State University and is also an independent film distributor

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Covering cow udders with dresses, lowering Betty Boop's hemline, and recoloring Tweety's body so he did not appear nude--these are among the animation censors' more ridiculous moments. Less amusing is other (often irrational) censoring behavior brought about by film and government censorship codes; self-restraint by producers, distributors, and exhibitors/outlets; pressure groups from both the left and the right; and blacklisting for political beliefs. Cohen (San Francisco State Univ.) brings all of this together in a book that begins with risque gags of silent era cartoons and proceeds through the industry code's restrictions from 1934-68 to attempts to block out racial stereotyping. The author devotes chapters to the problems that even uncensored cartoons--such as Ralph Bakshi's "Fritz the Cat" and Lenny Bruce's "Thank You Mask Man"--faced, television censorship, and the blacklisting of many cartoonists during the McCarthy era. Combining his interview notes with archival evidence, Cohen reveals much information never before published, at the same time avoiding the tendency to sensationalize. Rich in anecdotal and first-person accounts and written in a scholarly, well-documented (yet interesting) fashion, this is a pioneering effort that will stand the test of time. Recommended highly for all types of audiences. J. A. Lent Temple University

Table of Contents

Prefacep. 1
Introductionp. 5
1. Censorship of Theatrical Animationp. 9
2. Racism and Resistance: Stereotypes in Animationp. 49
3. Uncensored Animationp. 77
4. Censoring Animation on Televisionp. 121
5. Blacklisted Animatorsp. 155
6. Conclusionp. 193
Notesp. 197
Bibliographyp. 215
Indexp. 221