Sunday, May 16, 2010

Mysteries of Children's Entertainment

I spend a lot of time watching preschool television and reading children's book to my son. If you just suspend disbelief a lot of it is palatable, and even cute. (Big shout out to Jack's Big Music Show and Maggie and the Ferocious Beast.)

But some of it is just too much for my psyche. I can't even talk about why adults think children like clowns. Clowns are just...never mind, I can't talk about it. I need to sleep tonight.

So, without further ado, I present:


1. Where the hell are Max & Ruby's parents?

2. Why is Caillou bald? For that matter, what kind of name is Caillou?

3. Why does Mickey wear shorts and Donald a shirt? Why do some cartoons wear clothes at all, while others wear none?

4. How did
this creepy guy get a televisions show?

5. Why does Franklin (and the rest of his family) have names, but all his friends are named Bear, Skunk, Goose, and so on?

6. Why are all puppets not created by Jim Henson so creepy?

7. Why is there only one female Smurf? Do Smurfs reproduce like bees, with all the males serving one great queen?

8. Why is paranoid 1950s propaganda scare-fest Harold's Trip to the Sky still in print? And why does my son like it so much?

9. Why hasn't someone knocked Wow Wow Wubbzy out with a mallet, tied him up in a bag and tossed it into the nearest river?

10. If Dora has two perfectly good parents, why do they let her go wandering through the jungle alone all the time?

I know I'm just touching the tip of the iceberg.

What bugs you in children's entertainment?

- Liz


Eisley Jacobs said...

I am surprised you said nothing about Yo Gabba Gabba... Every part of that show gives me goose-flesh!

Kristan said...

Ah children's shows... I remember when Teletubbies were the big craze (and thus also experienced a big backlash). Barney to some extent too (but I liked that show as a kid). No one ever gets in a huff about Sesame Street!

Liz Czukas said...

@Eisley - I would have needed a lot more space to list all of the things that leave me creeped out. Claymation for starters. But, yeah, you're right, Yo Gabba Gabba is tres weird. I spend the whole show trying to figure out where the costume wearers' heads are in relation to the character faces.

@Kristan - you're right, Sesame Street is pretty much A-OK. Except for a segment when I was a kid where a little boy wanders into the bad part of town and meets a drug dealer. That was just weird.

cheshirerabbit said...

Well, I can answer your Caillou question. The show is originally Canadian. His name is French, obviously, and it means "pebble". Given this information, I can only assume that the reason for his name is that he has a bald head. A bald head is round and smooth like a pebble. Granted, I don't know why they decided to make him bald in the first place. Because his name was Caillou? Now we have a "chicken and egg" situation.

I don't have children yet, but I do have three young nieces, which means I've had plenty of experience with little kids TV lately. Another show that drives me crazy is the show "Boobah", or whatever it's called. It's so bizarre, I can't even describe it. It's like a drug trip nightmare mixed with Teletubbies. Seriously, if you haven't seen it, look it up. You'll see why there's no good way to describe it.

Arthur, though, still remains a show I love. I used to watch it all the time, and my friends did too. Now Marisa does. I love passing things on. =)

cheshirerabbit said...

Oh yeah, and Max and Ruby's parents always bothered me, to. And why does Little Bear walk around naked, if his parents are clothed?

Eleven Eleven said...

This is like like the Seinfeld of animation. Observational humor is my favorite.

Diego's animal friends are 'scared' of predators. They never quite get around to saying why. Ah, the bliss of ignorance. (Unlike, say, March of the Penguins, where they show how the mother penguin leaves her egg and never returns because she is chomped in half by a seal).

I like to look for the character quirks myself. Like how Little Bear over enunciates 'in-ter-est-ing.' Or that fingernail-on-chalkboard screech Boots makes when he does his happy flip. Or even Waldon's penchant for marshmallow lasagna. Man, if that stuff really existed, I might have a thing for it, too.

Know what's scariest? That I actually know all this stuff.