The famous Disney character lineup of Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy, and Pluto started with a series of theatrical short films created in the mid-20th Century, beginning with Mickey's debut appearance Steamboat Willie in 1928.
Like many mid-20th Century cartoons, they would face censorship when broadcast on modern television, with the censored scenes containing swearing (not really but viewers have complained about some lines of dialogue sounding like swearing), violence, suicide, alcohol, racism, and cannibalism.
Clock Cleaners is an animated short film produced by Walt Disney, and it was released on October 15, 1937. Due to a parent complaining about the movie saying it sounded like characters were swearing, due to Donald's unintelligible "duck voice", it was censored on TV, DVDs and Disney+ (the latter adding a content warning in the beginning of the short).
- The scene where Donald says "Says who?" it was changed to "Aw, nuts." (from the audio for the "On Ice" short which also kept in Pluto's barking in the background) What the parent thought Donald said: "F*ck you!"
- The scene where Donald says "I'll bust you, doggone snake in the grass" it was replaced with random noises. What the parent thought Donald said: "Aw f*ck you, g*dd*mn son of a b*tch!"
Donald's Dilemma is a 1947 Walt Disney Studios animated cartoon directed by Jack King and starring Donald and Daisy Duck. It was originally released on July 11, 1947 in the United States.
In the short, a flower pot hitting Donald's head gives him a Sinatra-like singing voice which makes him a very popular singer but causes him to abandon Daisy because he lost memory of her. As a result, Daisy suffers from insanity and depression and, at one point, contemplates suicide with various items including a gun, a noose, a knife, bombs, and poison.
The "suicidal" scene was removed from the short when shown in various media, including Disney+.
Spare the Rod
Spare the Rod is an animated short film produced by Walt Disney, and it was released on January 15, 1954.
This short was heavily censored on TV, DVD's and Disney+ for several reasons:
- There are instances of cannibalism, which is considered too morbid for children's television.
- The cannibals are depicted as black, stirring up racial stereotypes too offensive for television.
- For the scene where Donald gets bitten by one of the cannibals and yells "You little brat, I'm done with you!", a parent has complained about that scene saying it sounded like Donald was yelling "You little b*tch, I'll murder you!"
As a result of deleting those scenes, instead of outright banning the short, they reduced the 6-minute video into a 2-minute clip thereby making it unofficially the shortest theatrical film by Disney.
Where to find them uncensored
VHS tapes are uncensored and you may be able to find the uncensored version on some streaming sites.