Why Did One Scene From 'Teletubbies' Get Banned? It Was Deemed Too Scary For Kids

First we meet Bear, who clearly scares Winky and company, and who says, "I'm the Bear, I'm the Bear, and I'm coming."

Melissa Willets - Author

Jul. 4 2024, Published 2:00 p.m. ET

Some may think that Teletubbies Tinky-Winky, Po, Laa-Laa, and Dipsy are scary enough.

But a 1997 scene featuring a cut-out Lion and Bear on wheels was actually deemed so chilling for children, that it was banned!

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Read on to find out why the 5-minute scene upset both kids and their parents. The good news is that you can see it today, and we have provided the full video below.

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So, why did the 'Teletubbies' scene get banned?

Per The New Zealand Herald, a 1997 scene called "The Lion and The Bear" was banned in multiple countries across the world after it deeply disturbed mini-viewers.

The scene starts out innocently enough, with the Teletubbies hanging out in a hilly landscape dotted with trees, flowers, and bushes.

But then, cardboard cutout animals on wheels just make things super odd.

First we meet Bear, who clearly scares Winky and company, and who says, "I'm the Bear, I'm the Bear, and I'm coming," in the weird, echoing voice of a woman with a British accent.

Then, we hear Bear's bizarre chilling laugh. To be fair, Bear next tells a joke, which is him rolling his eyes in a circle and wiggling his tongue — and the Teletubbies laugh.

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He's not done with his reign of terror, intoning, "I'm the Bear, I'm the Bear, with brown fuzzy hair. I'm hiding from the Lion but he doesn't know where."

Next, small people would have heard ominous music and loud roaring coming from nowhere. It's freaky for sure.

Spoiler alert: The growling is Lion.

He has a loud man's voice that is creepy in a different way than Bear's. "I am the scary Lion, with big scary teeth. I'm scary on the top and I'm underneath," Lion calls out.

Um, what? The Teletubbies are clearly scared, especially when Lion goes on to say he's scary in the front and back. Again, what?

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Bear and Lion begin looking for one another, with Lion rolling throughout the landscape, and Bear appearing for a moment, giggling. It's a maniacal scene to be sure.

The scene was apparently horrifying to enough kids and parents that it was subsequently banned until 2001.

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A new, tamer version of the scene came out later.

Per The New Zealand Herald, tots were "traumatized" by the scene. Parents said it was far from being "age appropriate."

But in a recent update, I'll tell you that my kids, ages 6 and 3, were not upset when I let them view the original Teletubbies scene. Maybe it's lost its ability to terrify in modern times?

Indeed, after being exposed to the likes of Chucky — no, I didn't let them watch the movies, but they've seen previews and ads — perhaps a flat representation of a bear and a lion with off-putting voices isn't enough to scare today's children.

The proof will be tonight when the kids either sleep through the night or call us in terror around 2 a.m.

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