Released this day in 1931, Hittin’ The Trail For Hallelujah Land is a founding member of the infamous Censored Eleven is also one of the least seen… I guess that is the point of being censored.
A kindly old Uncle Tom brings Fluffy down to her sweetheart Captain Piggy’s riverboat. As he drives back in his horse and buggy, Uncle Tom ends up in a graveyard where various skeletons come to life singing the title song. Uncle Tom flees the graveyard but falls in the river where Piggy saves him. As Piggy comes to Uncle Tom’s rescue, a villain tries to make off with Fluffy.
In 1968, United Artists (then owners of the A.A.P. library of pre-1948 Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies cartoons) compiled the cartoons they considered too potentially offensive to be shown on television, and withheld those cartoons from distribution. AT that time, UA felt that these eleven cartoons should be withheld from broadcast because the depictions of black people in the cartoons were deemed too offensive for contemporary audiences.
This cartoon is one of those withheld from distribution, one of the so-called “Censored 11.” (The “Eleven” are: Hittin’ the Trail for Hallelujah Land (MM,1931), Sunday Go to Meetin’ Time (MM, 1936), Clean Pastures (MM, 1937), Uncle Tom’s Bungalow (MM, 1937), Jungle Jitters (1938), The Isle of Pingo Pongo (MM, 1938), All This and Rabbit Stew (MM, 1941), Coal Black and de Sebben Dwarfs (MM, 1943), Tin Pan Alley Cats (MM, 1943), Angel Puss (LT, 1944), and Goldilocks and the Jivin’ Bears (MM, 1944)). More recently, when Ted Turner became owner of the library, he continued the ban, and refused to allow any of these cartoons to be shown or released on video. To date, these shorts have not been officially broadcast on television since 1968.
- Hittin’ the Trail for Hallalujah Land,” Music by Rube Bloom, Lyrics by Joe Young, Sung by Various Characters
- “De Camptown Races,” Music by Stephen Foster; “Mysterious Mose,” Music by Walter Doyle
So watch this one today, and let us know what you think– rightly suppressed or much ado about nothing???