5.3/10
320
15 user 1 critic

Scrub Me Mama with a Boogie Beat (1941)

The black residents of Lazy Town are bored one day until a sultry light-skinned woman shows up to teach them what rhythm is.

Director:

(uncredited)

Writer:

(story)
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Cast

Uncredited cast:
Ivie Anderson ...
The Girl (voice) (uncredited)
...
Boat Captain / Mammy / Fighter One / Fighter Two / Various (voice) (uncredited)
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Storyline

The black residents of Lazy Town are bored one day until a sultry light-skinned woman shows up to teach them what rhythm is.

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Details

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Release Date:

28 March 1941 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)|

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This cartoon is not currently shown on American television because of characters, scenes or situations that portray potentially offensive, negative or otherwise currently socially or politically unacceptable content which may be perceived as fostering potentially negative stereotypes of Blacks. See more »

Connections

Featured in Ethnic Notions (1986) See more »

Soundtracks

Old Folks at Home
Words and music by Stephen Foster
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Hit-larious... don't watch if you're too much of a sissy
2 March 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Yes, it's racist. Yes, it portrays stereotypes ridiculously over the top.Yes, the blacks portrayed within look like monkeys and talk as though their tongues have been injected with novacaine. And YES, it's incredibly funny and entertaining.

Loony Toons over their history has portrayed MANY ethnic stereotypes from Amerindian sidekicks with feathers in their hair, drunk Irishmen, lascivious Arabs, angry Nazi Germans, and slit-eyed Chinamen the only stereotype that DOESN'T get exploited is the Jewish one (and I think we know why). And yet, this one gets singled out.

Well, regardless, Scrub Me Mama is a piece of history that hearkens back to a time when blacks were regarded as inferior but potentially lovable... kind of like monkeys. Obviously this notion is outdated and silly, but that's just how it was back then - people also wore hats and said words like "swell". If you've got a strong stomach for shock and a twisted sense of humor, you'll nearly fall out of your chair when the first black appears on screen with his lips wider than his mouth, black dog-nose, and low, sloping brow. It truly is ridiculous, and that's WHY it's funny.

Then the young vixen comes on screen and in a complete reversal of stereotypes is portrayed as attractive and completely un-ape-like. How to make sense of that one is anyone's guess except that she represents the cultured black woman rather than the lazy rural ones of Lazy Town. What follows is pure goofiness as the blacks go from acting like lazy monkeys to monkeys on crack and a tune catchier than most out there.

So, this cartoon will most definitely not advance any civil rights causes, but most good cartoons are indeed offensive, as South Park and Beavis and Butt-Head prove. While some offend with scatology, some with sexuality, this cartoon seeks to offend with racism. Is racism right? Of course not. No more right than sexual deviance and scatophilia. But the drawing of stereotypes to their most extreme ends can be uncomfortably hilarious to those who are not so delicate as to run off crying at the slightest violation of their narrow-minded sensibilities.

If I were one of them, their portrayals of Italians as mustachioed perverts would send me through the roof.


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