AS a child you uncritically sat through hours of cartoons while eating your Monster Munch. Here’s how some of them were far more messed-up than you realised.
Battle of the Planets
Wholesome sci-fi teatime fun for kids, right? Wrong. The show was a version of a Japanese anime, heavily edited to remove nudity and swearing. The baddie Zoltar was a hermaphrodite, which is only slightly weirder than Earth being threatened by a giant robot terrapin.
A boy turns into a banana-themed superhero after eating a banana, and has unfunny adventures. The sheer laziness of this concept must have taught a whole generation of children the life message: ‘Always do the bare minimum.’
A wise-ass cat pulls off various schemes and evades the law. Fair enough. But how did they get away with ripping off The Phil Silvers Show? Weirdly BBC2 showed the original Phil Silvers show at roughly the same time. Great for any British 10-year-olds who loved black-and-white military-themed American sitcoms from 1955.
Willo the Wisp
This apparently random collection of ideas – including an evil TV and a deformed dog – was originally an educational film for British Gas. Which might explain why the main character was a wisp of swamp gas. It still doesn’t make sense, though.
TV nostalgia buffs love the weirdness of a mechanical egg doing stuff. It was actually just shit. Oh to be a creative in 1977, when a pitch like ‘What if a knitted badger owns a magic shop?’ would earn you a decent wage.
Jamie and the Magic Torch
Jamie points his torch at the floor and travels to a derivative Yellow Submarine fantasy world. Yet another surreal children’s cartoon with a clear message: take drugs.