10 Iconic but Strange Animated Movies That Make You Question How They Got Greenlit

The world of filmmaking is a grueling battleground of concessions. For every film that hits theaters, there are dozens that never make it past the pitching stage, and even fewer make it to the big screen without extensive alterations. This is especially true in the realm of animation, where changes to the script can result in entire segments and characters having to be discarded and recreated.


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As new films are produced and sensibilities change, many older films can raise a question of how they were accepted while so many are rejected. Not to mention their quality: good movies or bad movies can still leave audiences wondering what got rejected for it.

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“Fritz the Cat” (1972)

Legendary Animator Ralph Bakschi‘s directorial debut adapts the comic book of the same name by Robert Krumm. It stars the titular cat, who makes his way through the ’60s counterculture world and gets involved in drugs, violence and lots of sex. It became the first animated film to be rated X.

Although the film’s pacing is very shaky, it still offers a fascinating insight into the disillusionment of the American people in the ’60s. The cynicism and excessive hedonism of the characters could turn off and is a prime example of how it could never be done today. However, it does Fritz the cat bizarrely unique and sets the tone for Bakshi’s future works.

“Raggedy Ann and Andy: A Musical Adventure” (1977)

A girl named Marcella gets a bisque doll named Babette for her birthday. As she leaves, the other toys in her nursery try to welcome her, but a snow globe pirate captain kidnaps her and sails away. Not wanting Marcella to be sad, her favorite doll Raggedy Ann and her brother Andy set out to rescue Babette.

The film is directed Richard Williams, animated by some of the best animators of the time and features songs fromSesame Street composer Joe Raposo. Unfortunately, all that talent doesn’t keep the film from being a jumbled mess with a muddled plot and some of the weirdest visuals seen in a children’s film. To date, the film has never seen a home video release, but it is available online in its entirety.

‘Magician’ (1977)

Two brothers are born in a dystopian future where magic returns. Both are born with magical talents, but one brother, Avatar, uses his for good while the other, Blackwood, meddles with technology to gain power. One day, Blackwood discovers old Natzi propaganda that inspires his followers and allows him to wage a war of conquest.

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Bakshi intended this film to be a family film, but it’s hard to imagine it maintaining its usual level of bold female designs and animated gore. It remains one of his strongest works, thanks to its unique style, its commentary on World War II and the dangers of technology, and some justifiably funny moments. It is also notable as a beginning Markus Hamill‘sillustrious voice acting career.

The 1980s was an interesting time for dark and daring media. One of the best examples is heavy metal, an adaptation of the science fiction fantasy magazine of the same name. With the framing device of a little green ball that claims to be the sum of all evils, the film features multiple stories with plenty of violence, sex and rock songs.

Each segment was created simultaneously by different studios, resulting in an interesting mix of animation styles. Unfortunately, the script isn’t the best, and while the sexual scenes are a bit shocking, the world of adult animation has come a long way. The voice output in particular still holds up Jon Candy as the nerdy Den-to-Adonis.

“Felix the Cat: The Movie” (1989)

Princess Oriana, ruler of the land of Oriana, was captured by her evil uncle, the Duke of Zill. As she is taken away, she sheds a magical tear that activates an interfaith machine that sends her to another world to search for a hero. The one it finds is Felix, a talking cat with a magic box of tricks.

This film was an affair of the heart Don Oriolohis father, Joe Oriolocreated the 1958 Felix the cat TV series. Unfortunately, it’s poorly put together, with horrific animation, sound editing that drowns out important dialogue, and very odd choices for humor in a children’s film. It’s hard to imagine the audience cheering for Felix when he laughs at a skull in one of the earliest scenes.

“Bébé’s Children” (1992)

Based on the stand-up comedy from robin harris, An animated version of Robin tells a blind bartender about his woes. It starts well: at a funeral, he meets a woman who suggests that Robin take her and her son to an amusement park. On the date, Robin is dismayed to learn that the woman has brought her friend’s three troubled children who are destroying everything they touch.

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Bébé’s children is the first animated film with a mostly black cast, and a lot of the people who worked on it would do it The proud family for Disney. Unfortunately, the film didn’t capitalize on that talent: It’s a confusing jumble of unlikable characters, cartoonish Hijinx, and dated stand-up. Even the accompanying NES game is called one of the worst ever.

“Cool World” (1992)

Bakshi’s last movie stars Brad Pitt as a WWII soldier who enters a world of vivid cartoons called Cool World. Years later, a cartoonist played through Gabriel Byrn is released from prison and also moved to the Cool World. There he falls in love with a cartoon named Holli Would who wants to become human by any means necessary.

Although it looked like a money robbery Who tricked Roger Rabbit?, Bakshi came up with the idea himself and suggested it as a comedy horror film. Unfortunately, Paramount Pictures stepped in and toned it down for general audiences. The result is a mess of poorly integrated live action and hand-drawn animations, wacky animations, and spontaneously invented rules.

‘Freddie as FR0.7’ (1992)

In medieval France, a young prince named Fredrick is turned into a frog by his aunt, who killed his father, in order to kill him in order to claim his throne. He is rescued by the Loch Ness Monster and, thanks to his magical powers, grows into an immortal human-sized frog. Today he becomes a secret agent tasked with helping the British recover stolen national monuments.

director Jon Acevsk the film was based on stories he would tell his son and it shows. The story and animation quality feels like it’s plucked from a child’s imagination, but somehow also includes a song of dancing Nazis and Klansmen. At least it has a good cast, including Ben Kingsley and Blessed Brian.

“The Magical Journey” (1992)

This German retelling of the story of Christoph Columbus takes a few liberties with the story. Instead of finding a faster trade route to India, he sails west to prove the world is round thanks to a woodworm’s inspiration. This woodworm also wants to rescue his fairy friend who has been kidnapped by an evil living crush.

The film was released to capitalize on the 500th anniversary of Columbus’ voyage, but it has fallen into obscurity despite getting two American dubs. That’s because of some cheap animation and these creative liberties that feel like someone’s combined the plots of three different films into one. Thehemdale Film Corporation dub at least starred Dom DeLuise, trying his best as the voice of Columbus.

“Titanic: The Legend Continues” (2000)

As the RMS Titanic prepares for its maiden voyage, some characters prepare to board. These include a young woman and her evil step family, a jewel thief and her clumsy henchman, and a detective dressed like Sherlock Holmes. Non-human passengers include Mexican mice portraying racist caricatures, a kleptomaniac magpie, and a patting dog.

RELATED: 7 Weird Titanic Movies That Aren’t James Cameron’s ‘Titanic.’

Titanic: The Legend Continues has appeared on multiple lists of the worst films of all time, and for good reason. Along with the Disney rip off and Don blood For its characters, the fact that it tells a light-hearted version of such a real-world tragedy is respectful of those who lost their lives. Amazingly, this isn’t even the first animated Titanic movie to come out of Italy: that’s the 1999s The Legend of the Titanic.

READ MORE: The best adult cartoons streaming right now

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Sarah Ridley

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