Six cartoons that were much weirder than you realised as a kid

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.’

Top Cat 

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.

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My heart goes out to these poor Afghans who I don't want living next door

By Roy Hobbs

IMAGINE fleeing your home in terror, not knowing if you’ll see your loved ones again. But also imagine a load of foreigners living next door, speaking funny and cooking smelly food.

This is my dilemma. Afghanistan is a humanitarian crisis, but Britain is full and I don’t want a load of Muslims screaming about Allah day and night when my wife and I are trying to watch Masterchef.

They shouldn’t come here, but that’s only because I’ve got their best interests at heart. Look how much it’s been raining recently. Compared to the nice sunny weather in Afghanistan, they’d get really depressed.

They won’t be able to adapt to English culture either. We like fish and chips and a bit of lighthearted banter over a pint of bitter, but they like eating goats and blowing each other up.

I’ve seen Afghanistan on the news, and it looks a bit backward. If a gang of 20 burly, oversexed Afghan men moved into Patricia and Ken’s house next door they’d probably think the toilet was a dishwasher and someone would try to sleep in the chest freezer, resulting in tragedy.

So I feel we are right to feel sorry for them, but also ruthlessly keep them out with instant deportations back to Afghanistan and by sinking their dinghies with machine gun fire if necessary.

I’m not a racist and actually very tolerant of other cultures. I had a Tandoori mixed grill just the other week. But for God’s sake make these Arab bastards go somewhere else or they’ll be stealing our Jack Russell and turning him into kebabs.