The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) has the controversial role of rating, and in some cases censoring, all the mainstream movie releasing in America. Many directors, studio executives and film buffs consider it a dreaded organisation.
Although MPAA mostly concerns with the issues of sex, violence, profanity and drugs, it rarely ban entire genres on the basis of some bizarre and strange reason. However, here are five movies, television shows and characters that were banned in different countries for unbelievably hilarious reasons:
1. "The Simpsons Movie" – Myanmar
"The Simpsons Movie" was released in 2007. Though it was not a very popular hit, the Burmese military disliked it for entirely different reasons. Co-incidentally, in 2007, the Burmese regime had banned colours yellow and red from movies. Since "The Simpsons" is perhaps one of the movies with mostly yellow elements, it was banned right away. The ban was eventually lifted, but it still remains one of the weirdest reasons for censorship.
2. "Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom" – India
There is a common misconception that Indiana Jones' second movie was banned in India because of its backward portrayal of the nation. However, the fact is, the authorities in India were offended by one particular scene - where people were eating monkey brains - and banned the movie.
3. Time Travel Movies – China
Instead of banning individual movies, china has banned an entire genre. According to the Chinese State's Administration for Radio, Film & Television, films which treat history in a humorous manner will fall foul of their powerful censors.
The Chinese State holds history of the country in extremely high regard, which means it is critical to any suggestion regarding changes. The Chinese authorities see the changing of history related to the change of political systems - something it is eager to prevent.
According to the Administration for Radio, Film & Television guidelines, any film which "casually make up myths, have monstrous and weird plots, use absurd tactics and even promote feudalism, superstition, fatalism and reincarnation" will risk also being banned.
4. "All Quiet on the Western Front" - Nazi Germany
This iconic 1930s movie was about the horrors and folly of war. Hence, it is not surprising that it was not much popular with the Nazi regime. However, before outright banning it, Hitler decided to go with an alternate method of control.
When "All Quiet on the Western Front" was screened, Nazi sympathisers and agents released white mice into the movie theatres. They also threw stink bombs and sneezing powder, causing audiences to flee in a panic. When this didn't work, they resorted to attacking the audience.
5. "Winnie the Pooh" – Poland
Instead of considering Winnie the Pooh as a lovable, children's bear, officials in the town of Tuszyn, Poland, claimed that he is in fact a "hermaphrodite" of "dubious sexuality" and "inappropriate" dress. Due to this, his appearance has been banned from kindergartens and play schools.
According to Movie Pilot, Ryszard Cichy, a local councillor, said, "It is half-naked, which is wholly inappropriate for children. A proper teddy bear is dressed from head to toe, unlike Pooh who is only dressed from the waist up."