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|The Isle of Pingo Pongo|
The Isle of Pingo Pongo is a 1938 Warner Bros. cartoon directed by Tex Avery. It is the first of Avery's spoofs of travelogues. The cartoon was banned from TV syndication in 1968 by United Artists (the owners at the time) for racist depictions of black people and is one of the "Censored Eleven". UA believed that no amount of editing could make it allowed to be distributed on United States television.
Most of the cartoon consists of travelogue-type narration and blackout gags, many including Egghead. There is a running gag with Egghead where he says, "Now Boss?", but the narrator keeps saying "Not now." That is, until the end, where the sun fails to set when he says "as the sun sinks slowly into the West". Egghead reappears and says "Now Boss?" The boss says "Yeah, now!" Egghead shoots the sun, making it sink into the West and ending the film.
Egghead sails on a cruise ship's trip from New York to the island of Pingo-Pongo, presumably located in the South Seas. The ship sails past the Statue of Liberty, who acts as a traffic cop, past the “Canary Islands” and “Sandwich Islands,” to the remote island. The inhabitants are mostly tall, black, and have big feet and lips. They at first play drums, then break into a jazz beat, still described as a “primitive savage rhythm.”
The ban has been upheld by the cartoon's successive owners and is unlikely to be released on home video, however, as The New York Times reports, unauthorized copies are relatively easy to find. The cartoon was reissued as a Blue Ribbon Classic, however, the original titles are known to exist.
A recreation of the original titles can be found on YouTube. In this video, the original titles show up while the Merrie Melodies theme is playing. Thus, there is no original title cue to go along with the titles. After the cue ends, the video skips to where the Blue Ribbon reissue started.
The short in its 1944 reissue can be easily found on DailyMotion. There are 2 copies, 1 in good condition, the other is a poor bootleg copy. Additionally, the short was recently viewed with 7 films part of the Censored Eleven at the TCM Film Festival in Hollywood on April 24, 2010 as part of a classic film series, presented by Donald Bogle. It is unknown if the original titles have been restored for the future DVD release. The release has yet to come, but Jerry Beck said transfers are done with a few extra banned films owned by WB. However, around August 2016, Jerry Beck said that WB was not going to release their Censored 11 DVD until the DVD market goes up in sales again.
Link in English here, with original titles. https://my.mail.ru/inbox/mail.personal/video/82/7505.html
- ↑ Cartoons of a Racist Past Lurk on YouTube http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/28/business/media/28cartoon.html
- ↑ "The Isle Of Pingo Pongo" (1938) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h98ImdTlQh4