Tag Archives: movies

And the Oscar goes to…

We realize we’re jumping the gun, but if this doesn’t win the Best Foreign Yakuza High School Girl Ninja Film trailer award, we will turn in our Academy membership.

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“My father, who art in heaven, you’ve always made a jackass out of me.”

Yes, that is Leslie Nielsen.

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Sesame Street too hot for toddlers

Virginia Heffernan of the New York Times got her hands on Volumes 1 and 2 of Sesame Street — the first time the early episodes of the venerable children’s program have ever been released on DVD.

sesame_street.gifThe most striking thing about the DVDs is that they come with a warning label that reads as follows:

“These early ‘Sesame Street’ episodes are intended for grown-ups, and may not suit the needs of today’s preschool child.”

You read that right — the makers of Sesame Street say episodes of Sesame Street are not appropriate for people under 18.  Here’s the money graf:

Snuffleupagus is visible only to Big Bird; since 1985, all the characters can see him, as Big Bird’s old protestations that he was not hallucinating came to seem a little creepy, not to mention somewhat strained. As for Cookie Monster, he can be seen in the old-school episodes in his former inglorious incarnation: a blue, googly-eyed cookievore with a signature gobble (“om nom nom nom”). Originally designed by Jim Henson for use in commercials for General Foods International and Frito-Lay, Cookie Monster was never a righteous figure. His controversial conversion to a more diverse diet wouldn’t come until 2005, and in the early seasons he comes across a Child’s First Addict.

Sesame Street executive producer Carol-Lynn Parente tells Heffernan that Oscar the Grouch could probably never be created in today’s world — where children are tightly rolled in pillows and bubble wrap from the moment they are lovingly extruded from the doula’s hands.

Some of these reservations are understandable. Like one scene in the first season where Gordon (the first black man many of us suburban whiteys ever laid eyes on) invites a kindergarten-age girl over to his house for milk and cookies. You probably don’t want your kids going home with men who want to be friends with little kids — unless they’ve got candy, which everyone knows is worth the risk.

We’re not child psychologists at Pax Arcana, and we don’t have kids. But there is something awfully creepy about the idea of raising children in a world where they are not exposed to at least some of the awfulness of real life. Some of our most vivid memories of childhood are of being scared speechless by The Dark Crystal and even Snow White. Hell, does Bambi’s mother even die if that movie is made in 2007?

It just seems like we’re preparing an entire generation of children to believe that the world consists of soft red and blue shapes bouncing through the ether, when in fact it consists of marshmallows, sex, trombones, and laughing gas.

Sweeping the Clouds Away [New York Times]

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