Team America: World Police
No one is better at consistently producing offensively outrageous cartoons than Trey Parker and Matt Stone. South Park still has moments of brilliance, and the South Park films hold up as hilarious to this day. There were two films made for the big screen, with “Team America: World Police” being a bit more controversial due to its post 9-11 release. It shows world leaders as laughably inept, criticising America’s foreign policies. Yet with nail-biting action sequences and on-the-nose satire, it’s still relevant now.
Fritz the Cat
Widely regarded as the rudest film ever, Ralph Bakshi’s Fritz the Cat is based on Robert Crumb’s comic strip and offers viewers a wild, X-rated ride. Made in 1972, the film still has a scandalous feel as it follows Fritz, a college student animated cat. He leaves his university to experiment with drugs, participate in orgies, and generally get involved in other questionable activities. Banned in many countries when it was released, the film was still one of the most successful adult animations ever produced. Today, it’s more uncomfortable for its politically incorrect humour than its depictions of cartoon-animal sex and drugs, but still has the power to shock.
Song of the South
Another animated film that continues to be controversial due to its deeply politically incorrect nature is Disney’s Song of the South. Now mainly known for the iconic “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah” song that plays throughout Disneyland, the film itself depicts a black southern stereotype of “Uncle Remus.” Disney’s never released it on video, for a reason.
The animated genre allows filmmakers to really push the envelope with juvenile humour. One of the latest films to take this tradition and run with it is Sausage Party, co-written by Seth Rogen and starring Rogen and Jonah Hill. It’s filled to the brim with stoner gags, rude animations, and shocking humour. Sausage Party follows the adventures of a hotdog named Frank and what happens to food products in a suburban supermarket. Will Sausage Party reach classic status? It’s already receiving good reviews, but if you want to play the odds you can place your bets whether or not it will receive over 6.75 stars on IMDB.
Beavis and Butthead Do America
Animated features like Sausage Party owe some due respect to 90’s legends Beavis and Butthead. Mike Judge’s teenage idiots hit the big screen in 1996, with guest voices including Bruce Willis, Demi Moore, and Cloris Leachman. The slackers travelled across the country on a quest to find their stolen television. Rude and crude, the film was well-received by critics at the time and still stands up as an interesting satire. While today Beavis and Butthead might spend their days on their smartphones, in the 1990’s it was all about watching MTV all day. The film uses slapstick, juvenile humour that made it somewhat controversial at the time.
Image Source: methodshop.com/Flickr
Outrageous animated movies don’t have to be comedies. Some of the most disturbing animations are actually philosophical in nature. Case in point: Richard Linklater’s Waking Life. The movie uses rotoscoping animation techniques, from a variety of different animators. This means that every scene has a slightly different look, for a trippy, philosophical end product that’s not quite like anything else. While it has been criticised as being boring or pretentious by some, for others it’s downright stimulating.
Robert Zemeckis’s Beowulf qualifies as an animated film, using 3D computer animation with the motion capture technique. Inspired by the Old English epic poem, this 3D adventure is definitely made for adults, with a controversial level of violence at times. It received a mixed bag of reviews in the end, but had a number of fans for its sometimes raunchy humour and epic 3D experience.
AkiraA classic of the anime genre, Akira is considered one of the first of its kind to break into the mainstream in the West. This manga film is disturbing and even shocking at times, with violent sequences and bizarre sci-fi animations of urban decay that will crawl into your subconscious and stay there. It’s based on a manga comic series, and helped make the cyberpunk term cool on a global level.