Thursday, August 23, 2007

Big Ears, Bad Listener

The new trend in children's programming is to have the character on the show talk to your child and ask them questions as if they were in the room with you. It works on the assumption that your child is either an idiot or recently transported here from the 17h century. I'm not sure, but I think it started with Dora the Slow-Talking-Redundant-Explorer.There's a whole lot of this going on:

DORA: What color is an apple?

(Unbelieveably long pause.)

DORA: That's right, RED! And where do they grow?

(Excruciatingly long pause. Dora blinks. Her monkey's eyebrows may move slightly, but that's optional.)

DORA: On trees! That's right!

Apparently super long pauses save you some cash in the scripting AND animation phase.

How did we come to this? What ever happened to storylines like "Run, Vanity Smurf, or Gargamel will crush you and seal your soul forever into his evil satanic jar!" or even "Gummy Bears, let's unite and save our village from the famine... and molten lava!" Those were exciting times.

I can only assume the foray into boredom is intended to pass children's television off as an educational tool. For example, those announcements at the beginning of all Noggin shows that go like this: "Wow Wow Wubzy teaches preschoolers about interpersonal dynamics, abstract problem solving, foreign diplomacy and the subtle and appropriate use of symbolism." Really? Well, Wubzy take it from here, I'm going to check my email and see you kids when it's time for you to write your dissertation.

It's an annoying trend, and I'm proud to say my 2 year old is not falling for it.

The other day, Mickey Mouse casually strolled onto the screen and asked Robin, "Do you want to go inside my clubhouse?"

"NO!" She promptly yelled.

"Ok, here we go!" said Mickey, as the music kicked in.

"I SAID NO, MICKEY MOUSE!" Robin yelled, full of righteous anger.

I love that kid.


KrizZzztian LokiNanTa said...

Hi.. my name Kristian.. I'm from Indonesia. can we be a friend ?? you can email me, or you can add my MSN,


Angela said...


Anyways, WES, you've probably already seen this before, but SNL did a fantastic parody of Dora, aka Maraka. Enjoy!

Wes W. said...

I have not seen that! Very funny. Robert Smigel apparently feels my pain. I love "What's wrong with you?"

Grandpa said...

I love that girl, too! I love Lucy, too!