Cannimation: Watching Cartoons Stoned.

There's Watching Cartoons Stoned. Then There's Watching Cartoons Who Are Stoned.

Many things work better together: peanut butter and chocolate, gin and tonic, cartoons and cannabis. And while watching SpongeBob with a bowl of Fruity Pebbles and a bowl of Fruity Pebbles is common combo, there are also those cartoons that integrate smoking into the narrative. Here are some of the more animated occasions of characters being stoned on screen.

Cannabis Cartoon Flip the Frog in Chinaman's ChanceFlip the Frog in “Chinaman’s Chance”

As the title indicates, there’s a few nasty, outdated stereotypes here—the Chinese are ridiculous pigtailed caricatures, although the ostensible hero of this cartoon is some kind of idiot monkey-frog in diapers. Policeman Flip chases down master criminal Chow Mein (eesh) to a room full of smoke. He picks up a pipe, inhales deeply and…the screen wavers and glows as Flip cartwheels through smoke rings, a giant grin on his face, flapping his arms and flying into dreamland.

Cannabis Cartoons Betty BoopBetty Boop in “Ha! Ha! Ha!”

In this mixture of live action and animation, Betty’s troublesome pal Koko the Clown gets a toothache—if you wondered what Betty Boop does for a living, she’s a dentist. After some initial wrestling, Betty flips on the “laughing gas,” and the two inhale deeply and giggle maniacally. The fumes escape into the “real” world—a typewriter becomes a grinning mouth, a clock face laughs. Outside, car grills split into toothy chuckles; even the humans become hysterical. It’s Who Framed Roger Rabbit? 50 years earlier, and you can’t tell me that laughing mailbox isn’t stoned.

Cannabis Cartoons Alice in WonderlandAlice in Wonderland

For many, their first sight of a hookah came from Disney’s psychedelic classic. Alice meets the caterpillar sitting upon his toadstool, shifting to a new sprawled-out position with each puff, alternately chill and cheesed off—especially when his mouthpiece clogs. After making her wait to hear the “something important” he had to say, Alice’s encounter with the caterpillar concludes as more than one conversation with a stoner has surely ended: with an offer of ‘shrooms.

Speedy Gonzales Cannabis CartoonsSpeedy Gonzales in “Mexican Boarder”

Speedy’s cousin Slowpoke Rodriguez rolls in drawling “La Cucaracha” with the “marijuana que fumar” lyrics intact (and repeats them twice). His first words to his cousin are “I’m hungry.” Slowpoke remains ravenous throughout “Mexican Boarder,” focused on raiding the refrigerator like a broke roommate—however, he does come through in the end. As he says: “Maybe Slowpoke is pretty slow in the feet. But he is pretty fast in the cabeza.”

Fritz the CatFritz the Cat

Based on cartoons by R. Crumb, the first X-rated animated feature film is a politically incorrect ‘70s time capsule. We follow Fritz, post-beatnik/pre-hipster NYU student, from getting high and pie-eyed with a couple of crows to a pipe-puffing, multi-species bathtub orgy that gets busted by the (literal) pigs. Not a great or even particularly good film, but it does feature some truly twisted hallucination scenes, all dripping colors and skewed perspectives.

Cannabis Cartoons South Park, “Towelie”South Park, “Towelie”

The intent, as declared by South Park’s creators in the DVD commentary, was “to create the lamest character possible,” and thus Towelie was born. And he is pretty lame. His voice is annoying, he’s a moocher and has been known to promote the idea of marijuana as a gateway drug. Still, haven’t we all heard, “If I get high, I’ll remember” before?

The Simpsons, “Weekend at Burnsies”The Simpsons, “Weekend at Burnsies”

After Homer has eye trouble (crows—long story), Dr. Hibbert prescribes “medicinal marijuana, prescription pot, Texas THC.” A few puffs and Homer’s world is all rainbows and Deep Purple—he even watches the Three Stooges and shares a bong with the archetypical Simpsons stoner, Otto the bus driver. As the title indicates, there are some shenanigans with a “dead” Mr. Burns, as well as an “Inhalin’ Waylon” Smithers.

Samurai Champloo: Episode 9, “Beatbox Bandits”Samurai Champloo: Episode 9, “Beatbox Bandits”

Purple haze sets the people free in this anime—a trio of friends are arrested while trying to cross a government checkpoint. Two escape but are grabbed by a group of warrior-priest revolutionaries who grow a field of plants with green, pointed leaves. The captives set a fire as a distraction, but it sets the field of “sacred grass” aflame. The purplish smoke has a strange effect: colors brighten, shapes distort and even the murderous border guards collapse into laughter. “That night everyone loved each other. The gate of the checkpoint was thrown open and government officials, thieves, animals, everyone was equal.” Truly some good shit.

Animation Breakdown

Our favorite (and, well, not so favorite) cartoon characters have been toking on our television sets for decades.

“Chinaman’s Chance”

Year: 1933

Director: Ub Iwerks

“Ha! Ha! Ha!”

Year: 1934

Director: Dave Fleischer

Alice in Wonderland


Directors: Clyde Geronimi, Wilfred Jackson, Hamilton Luke

“Mexican Boarder”

Year: 1962

Director: Friz Freleng

Fritz the Cat

Year: 1972

Director: Ralph Bakshi

South Park, “Towelie”

Year: 2001

Director: Trey Parker

The Simpsons, “Weekend at Burnsie’s”

Year: 2002

Director: Michael Marcantel

Samurai Champloo, “Beatbox Bandits”

Year: 2004

Directors: Hirotaka Endo, Shinichiro Watanabe, Mamoru Hosada