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6 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Look at those dumb .......

Author: theowinthrop from United States
3 February 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Like the cartoon ALL THIS AND RABBIT STEW (1941) which I just reviewed, after viewing on You Tube, this one can't be given any rating. If this was 1944 I'd probably be fairly anti - Japanese, and then I would have given it a high rating for it's comic effect on the audience. But in 2007 (with Japan a close partner and ally these days), I find it hard to accept the image of those anti-Japanese stereotypes very easily. Especially (ironically enough) Admiral Yamamoto.

Yamamoto planned Pearl Harbor, and he was responsible for the planning (but not the carrying out) of Midway. He was a brilliant strategist, and his death (ironically in the year of this cartoon 1943 during the battles at Guadacanal) took out a lot of spirit from the Japanese people. To Americans his planning Pearl Harbor made him a sneaky arch-enemy. The Admiral was hardly that. Actually Yamamoto's plan was based on reality: the U.S. had more immediate resources to use against Japan, and he had to knock us out quickly if the Japanese were to have any chance to win. Previously in Japanese history, sneak attacks had been used (against China in 1894 and Russia in 1904) and were not considered ignominious. Furthermore, the British hand done a sneak attack on the French fleet in 1940 (while still allied to France) to keep it's fleet from being turned over to the Nazis. It was just that the the Pearl Harbor attack was done under peculiar circumstances when the Japanese sent diplomats to Washington to discuss avoiding war - the attack was to be like one hour or so after a final demand had been made and rejected, and a delay made it look worse than it was.

Finally Admiral Yamamoto himself had been very opposed to war with the U.S. (he had been stationed in Washington as a naval attaché for a couple of years, and knew what the U.S. was like - unlike such militarists as Tojo). He did plan Pearl Harbor to do as much damage as he could to a foe, but he hoped it would not be necessary. Unfortunately he was in no position to explain himself to the Americans - and was painted as a villain in our films during the war (in James Cagney's BLOOD ON THE SUN he is shown as the naval associate of Tojo, and he boasts there that he will have the surrender signed in the White House - he actually never said that). The joke regarding him in the film - showing him as a monster on stilts and also showing the special room for Yamamoto in the White House as one with an electric chair in it is really extreme in it's viciousness (even if the wartime anger is understood).

Most of the spirit of this cartoon follows that idea. The Japanese are all bucktoothed and skinny, usually bald, and wear glasses. They are falsely polite all the time. But what is particularly curious about it is the idea of the cheapness of Japanese industrial output. Every ship or military machine that is shown is actually quite shabby - "Potemkin village" style gadgets (including a submarine under construction under water). One midget submarine meant for suicide missions has a sailor who is panicking to get out. I am surprised that their ingenuity (which was always high) is dismissed so cavalierly. The people who produced the Zero fighter plane were not pushovers.

There were also jabs at the Nazis and Fascist Italians, with Hitler getting a postcard from Rudolf Hess "wishing you were here" (inside a prison camp (oddly enough called a concentration camp) although Hess was in British custody). Mussolini is shown as having a discount sale on all the "glories" of his mock Roman Empire. And the British traitor William Joyce is shown as "Lord Hee Haw" - a donkey with a monocle and English accent, speaking on the radio.

As a historical curiosity it is still quite interesting. It is also simply not the type of cartoon that is acceptable anymore.

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7 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

This (and many other works) needs to be understood in historic context.

Author: Robert Reynolds ( from Tucson AZ
28 October 2002

It is important and only fair to remember that, at the time this short was produced, a state of war existed between the United States and the Empire of Japan. Add to that the enormous ill-will that the beginning of the war created, as well as the Bataan Death March and other incidents and the only thing surprising about this short and others is that there weren't more of them. One other thing: my only problem with this short is that it seems to try to be funny, but it isn't. I'm not sure that anyone connected with it really tried to make the jokes work, or even cared. It would have been far better if they had done what Disney did with Education For Death and been totally serious. But this short gets a bad rap and shouldn't be judged out of context. The times were different then and that is an important consideration. Anyone expending energy trying to save the world from a sixty-year old cartoon needs to take a step back. As do I, expending energy defending that same cartoon. This should be available to interested parties, even if not in wide circulation. Not a nice cartoon, but sometimes life isn't nice. Recommended

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

You CAN'T ban everything just because someone might become offended

Author: planktonrules from Bradenton, Florida
11 October 2006

This cartoon was shelved a long time ago by Warner Brothers because the cartoon is indeed awfully racist and shows the Japanese to be incredibly stupid and practically sub-human. HOWEVER, as a history teacher, I really wish this toon were more available because it was an important product of the times. Many nations around the world were at war with Japan and this movie was a form of propaganda meant to inspire the folks at home. Political Correctness was NOT a consideration, as the war was a war of survival for many--the fact that it surely would offend the Japanese certainly wasn't a concern! So, today, many would like to take these inflammatory cartoons and bury them--but this is a big mistake, as history (with all its blemishes) is not something that you can "cut and paste" to satisfy sensibilities--if this WERE the case, we might as well just burn offensive books and never teach history. My feeling is that cartoons like these are wonderful when shown and explained in their context. As a teaching tool, they are great and help us to understand the era and the mood of the people at home.

This cartoon, the best I can tell, is not available on DVD or video anywhere. I was only able to see it on when I typed in "banned cartoons" and after registering and then seeing a warning that indicated it was a racially offensive cartoon. Gee,'s easier to view porn online than this cartoon!! The overall quality of the art is just fine but it's in black and white. The jokes, though, are awfully lame AND offensive but the cartoon WAS a very effective tool. See it and learn.

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Shocking in a good way

Author: haildevilman from Tokyo, Japan
15 May 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

There was a video out in America called 'Cartoon Scandals' that featured about an hours worth of banned cartoons.

Most of them were WWII era. That's where I first saw (and heard of) this one.

The rooster during the opening news broadcast turns into a vulture with an Asian face saying 'cock-a-doodle-doo please.' After that it's eight minutes of propaganda played out like a newsreel.

Viscously racist, but when you look at it as the piece of history it is, it can (and should) be forgiven.

Slicing ration cards to make sandwiches.

Showing the ruins of Rome while calling Moussolini 'Ruin #1.'

A minesweeper using a broom.

A manned bomb with the pilot saying 'RET ME OUT OF HERE.'

And of course the stereotyping. Every Japanese was drawn with big teeth, constantly bowing, and saying 'please' at the end of every broken sentence.

The funniest bit? The air raid siren that was two bowing men stabbing each other in the tush with pins. "oooo-OOOOOO"

Hey AOL. Let this one out. It deserves notice. My wife laughed at this. And she's 100% Japanese.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

WWII Cartoons Don't Get Any More Insulting Than This (Spoilers Somewhere Here)

Author: Angel-Marie
2 May 2002

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

In these PC times, this cartoon (along with other WW-II cartoons) is more than likely locked up forever in a vault and/or passed around on the public domain video circuit and on the Web. I've seen this cartoon on several websites about rare and un-PC cartoons and it's not as bad as people say it is. This (and the WW-II allegory "The Ducktators") is/was a nice way for Norm McCabe (a very underrated animator at Warner Bros) to end his career.

Sure, it may be "different" from any other WW-II cartoon and, yes, it is insulting to anyone of Japanese descent (and German because of one gag involving Hitler and Italian because of a Mussolini gag), but people should look at it from a historical POV and learn from it.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

They Just Don't Make 'em Like This Anymore!

Author: Angel-Marie from Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
23 September 2001

I first heard of this WW-II era cartoon when I found a website about WW-II cartoons that hardly (if ever) show on television, and Tokio Jokio is no exception. From the title itself to the ending where a minesweeper gets blown up and a sign reading, "Regrettable Incident, Please" makes this cartoon Public Enemy Number One for today's cartoon censors. One has to wonder if the director (Norm MacCabe) would predict that anyone would be watching this between your average everyday Bugs Bunny fare and your run-of-the-mill Tweety cartoons (not that these are bad, mind you. I like 'em just the same). There have been cartoons that have shocked and offended me, yet still made me laugh out loud (Pepe Le Pew cartoons, for example), and Tokio Jokio is in at number one!

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4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

A rant and a critic.

Author: jim riecken (youroldpaljim)
16 February 2003

Its a shame that in these politically correct times that many of these war time cartoons are difficult to locate due to censorship and those that are available are mostly poorly transferred video tapes from often less than pristine prints. Its great to see the Loonie Tunes gang (or Merrie Melodies as they were first called) enlisted to help the war effort. While these cartoons maybe considered "insulting", they were made when America was at war with Japan, Italy and Germany for @#&*%$ sake! Now if something like this was made today, yes it would be insulting, but when cartoons like this were made, those countries were out to wipe out the free world. Some people have called these depictions cruel. So what! To those people I must ask; cruel? Gas chambers, The Bataan Death March, The Nanking Massacre, throwing Ethiopians out of airplanes, not thats cruel! If you want to see cruel depictions, see some of the films produced in the Axis countries and how they depicted Jews, Poles, Slavs, Koreans and Chinese. What irks me today is that the elitist bunch in Hollywood is so reluctant to make films depicting the very group that is out to destroy us today. We have films and TV shows about terrorists today and who are the terrorists? Serbians, Nazi's (yes bringing back villains from over half a century ago!), pro-lifers, and just about everybody else Hollywood likes to bash or feels safe to bash except Islamist-fascists.

Now that I've gotten that off my chest lets discuss the film in question here. TOKIO JOKIO pokes fun at Japan and its allies in the form of what is suppose to be a news real from Tokyo. Unlike some of the other World War Two era propaganda cartoons from Warner Brothers, TOKIO JOKIO is not really all that funny. Most of the jokes seem forced; even at times just plain stupid. However, its an interesting history lesson with its depictions of Rudolph Hess, Lord Haw Haw, Tojo and Yamamoto.

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Hochschule fur Bildene Kunst 101 Saporo Rodmain 'deR Leadr

Author: bela-rs ( from Lil L.L. Ä.L.X*London Trafall
18 November 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***


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Warner Bros was too lazy to go to Japan to film...

Author: Liviatan Whale from France
22 March 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

So, like all Warner Bros Anti-Japanese cartoons, they throw in as much racist trash as possible instead. None of the scenes have anything to do with Japan's history or culture outside relations with the USA. And of coarse, most scenes show the Japanese being primitive and occasionally dying in some of them.

I put this above Tokyo Woes for worst WWII cartoon because in that one, you have a filthy gnat wipe out unarmed protesters and gets rewarded handsomely parodying a Tokyo Rose, Japanese broadcasters that sent anti-American moral propaganda to the USA, in Tokio Jokio, its just clips of the Japanese doing themselves in parodying Know you're enemy; the Japanese, a documentary on countering the enemy.

Like Tokyo Woes, this should just be for the US army that fought the Japanese in WWII.

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Interesting as a piece of history rather than for pure entertainment

Author: Tweekums from United Kingdom
16 August 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

There is no getting away from the fact that this 1943 propaganda short is incredibly racist by today's standards, leaving it of historical interest but not much else. The short takes the form of an alleged Japanese propaganda film that has fallen into Allied hands. There is no over all story just a series of sight gags; some of which may elicit a chuckle, such as the aircraft spotter who is literally painting spots on a plane and the sailor in the 'human torpedo' mini-sub who screams 'get me out of here' when asked how he feels; for the most part though the gags were fairly cringe-worthy as just about every Japanese character is depicted as having thick glasses and buckteeth; a caricature that is seems very dated now. There is also the expected mocking of Japanese pronunciation of English... which is still so prevalent that I've even heard it in anime!

I don't think this short is available on DVD and I'm certain that it would never get broadcast on television unless it was part of a documentary about propaganda; it is however easy to find on YouTube should you be interesting in seeing it. I can't really recommend watching it as entertainment but as a piece of history it was interesting to see.

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