Starts out with a tribe of African cannibals imitating Native Americans. After this, they do the new Warner Bros. Looney Tunes theme "The Merry-Go-Round Broke Down." Then a sloppy ... See full summary »

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(as I. Freleng)

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(story) (as Geo. Manuell)

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Cast

Uncredited cast:
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Natives / Guard / Preacher (voice) (uncredited)
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Storyline

Starts out with a tribe of African cannibals imitating Native Americans. After this, they do the new Warner Bros. Looney Tunes theme "The Merry-Go-Round Broke Down." Then a sloppy stuttering salesman knocks on their doors, and they bring him in and put him in a pot of boiling water. The queen of the tribe wants to see the man. She falls in love with him. They get married, but when the salesman sees he has to kiss the bride, he decides he'd be better off being dinner for a tribe of hungry cannibals. Written by Steve Siegert <nsiegert@remc8.k12.mi.us>

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Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

19 February 1938 (USA)  »

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Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of the "Censored 11" banned from T.V. syndication by United Artists in 1968 (then the owners of the Looney Tunes film library) for alleged racism. Ted Turner continued the ban when he was hired and stated that these films will not be re-issued and will not be put on Home Video. These cartoons will probably never air on television again, and only non-Warner Bros. licensed public domain video tapes will probably ever have these cartoons on them. See more »

Quotes

Preacher: I now sentence you t' be man and wife, kiss the bride, that'll be two dollahs, please.
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Soundtracks

Rural Rhythm
(uncredited)
Music by Dick Sanford and Frank Weldon
Plays when the salesman tries to get through the doors
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
If it weren't for the controversy, I doubt too many people would be talking about this cartoon anymore
9 December 2007 | by (Guelph, Ontario, Canada) – See all my reviews

"Jungle Jitters" is one of the eleven cartoons, all from the 30's and 40's, that were put on a list in 1968 called the "Censored 11", and banned from television, as they were considered too racist. Nonetheless, I was born eighteen years later, and I remember watching this one a lot on video as a kid, and enjoying it. However, I was entertained by just about everything I saw on TV or video at the time, and I no longer find this animated short very amusing.

The cartoon begins with an African tribe doing various things, including dancing, drumming, and riding on a merry-go-round. However, their fun is interrupted when someone comes to their doors. It turns out to be a silly door-to-door salesman (one with a dog's face) on the other side of the wall. As this salesman waits for someone to answer, members of the tribe look down at him from above, and he doesn't realize that this is a tribe of cannibals who want to eat him for dinner!

When I watched this cartoon as a kid, I obviously never thought of it as racist, as that word wasn't even in my vocabulary at the time. Right now, I can understand the controversy, but that's definitely not my main problem with the short. Yes, it does portray Africans as cannibals, but it has been nearly seventy years since it was made, and I don't think there's any point in getting worked up about it now. What is my main problem with "Jungle Jitters"? Well, if you ask me, it's simply not very funny. The only part that makes me laugh is when the salesman knocks on the doors, and tribe members keep opening and closing them. I probably don't get a lot of the gags simply because they are out-of-date, and I would probably have a better understanding of the cartoon if I knew more about the era in which it was made.

Nowadays, this 1938 animated short can cause different reactions from viewers. Some could find it appallingly racist, while others may think those people are overreacting, and defend the cartoon by saying it's not THAT offensive, and/or that the stereotyping is not all that one-sided. So, there's obviously a lot of controversy among those who are familiar with "Jungle Jitters" over whether banning it was a wise decision or not. However, if the cartoon were 100% politically correct, I don't think too many people would be talking about it anymore, as I don't think it has anything else that could give it much recognition these days. While some could still find it amusing, I would say it's probably too dated to have wide appeal today.


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