4 user

Little Black Sambo (1935)

Mammy gives Little Black Sambo a quick scrub on the washboard, then pats him down with baby powder, black baby powder, before sending him off to play. She warns him about the tiger. "That ... See full summary »




Mammy gives Little Black Sambo a quick scrub on the washboard, then pats him down with baby powder, black baby powder, before sending him off to play. She warns him about the tiger. "That ol' tiger sure do like dark meat!" The family dog has brushed up against a freshly painted fence and now fancies himself to be a scary tiger. Sambo mistakes his dog for the tiger and is chased right up a tree. Then the pair meet a real tiger. Sambo is scared white. They run home and lock themselves in, but the feline sneaks in the back way. Sambo sets a molasses trap for the tiger, then burns him with a red hot frying pan. Mammy and Sambo dance in their delight at ridding themselves of the tiger. Written by David Steele

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

6 February 1935 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Kleiner schwarzer Sambo  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Mammy: Now run along and play, honey child, but watch out for that bad old tiger. That old tiger sure do like dark meat.
See more »


Referenced in No Way Out (1950) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A rather sad little film...
1 November 2008 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

As a history teacher and lover of films, I occasionally like watching cartoons that have been banned, as they tell us a lot about our society and how far we have come over the years. What was perfectly acceptable decades ago is now, in some cases, seen as gross and inappropriate. Occasionally, these cartoons which have been removed from screening aren't particularly offensive but often, as in the case of this cartoon, they are so god-awful it's hard to imagine that people would have laughed at and enjoyed these films! Thirteen of these cartoons have been packaged together on a DVD entitled "Cartoon Crazys: Banned and Censored" and while the print quality of many of the cartoons is less than stellar, it's a great chance to see how sensibilities have changed.

Of all the cartoons in the set, it was easiest at the onset to understand why U.B. Iwerks' LITTLE BLACK SAMBO was taken out of circulation. It's been the focal point of outrage and debate in the 1950s and 60s and today I can't imagine any school having a copy of this offensive book or film in its library--though all through the 50s, most schools did! While the Black stereotypes aren't as bad as some cartoons, Sambo is a typically gross giant-lipped child and his mother warns him to be careful of the tiger because "he loves to eat dark meat"! Sheeesh!

As far as the artwork goes, it's competent and the color is very crude, though by 1935 standards it isn't, as the old fashion 2-Color Technicolor was still in use. It used three strips of film--one black & white, one orange-red and the other green-blue. As a result, the colors don't look realistic and tend towards orange and green--though the print on this DVD isn't bad at all.

If you watch it, you will no doubt be shocked and surprised. However, this cartoon is rather innocent compared to some of the more outrageous examples of bigoted cartoons. If you want a BIG shock, try to watch SCRUB ME MAMA WITH A BOOGIE BEAT!

4 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page