Tag Archives: TV Tuesdays

Cinderella WTF

For the sixth night of Hanukkah, Rose got “Cinderella II” AND “Cinderella III”. I gave the gift early in the day so we could watch both movies. Since Rose is 3, she wanted to watch “Cinderella III” first. “It’s 3 like me! I’m 3!”

“Cinderella III” was fantastic. The Evil Stepmother gets her hands on Fairy Godmother’s wand and makes it so the prince believes he fell in love with the ugly stepsister Anastasia. Aside from the main plot where Cinderella is trying to get out of the hell world her stepmother forced her into and prove to the prince that SHE was the one he loved, a big part of the story is that Anastasia dreams of finding love. She just wants SOMEONE to love her because no one has ever loved her before. Doesn’t she deserve love? She goes on and on about it.

Except when we watched “Cinderella II” later, we discovered that one of the storylines involved Cinderella helping Anastasia achieving her dream of getting together with the baker, whom she loved. The baker was also in love with Anastasia.

It wasn’t like this was just a little thing in passing. It’s a major part of the movie. It’s part of the title “Cinderella II: Dreams Come True”. At the end of the movie, Anastasia declares something along the lines of “Dreams really do come true” after she’s able to be with the baker she loves. It implies they live happily ever after.

So my question is did the makers of “Cinderella III” even watch “Cinderella II”? It doesn’t make any sense for Anastasia to be after love in “Cinderella III” if her goal of finding it was a major story line AND achievement in “Cinderella II”.

I don’t understand why Anastasia was used in both movies. There’s a perfectly good second stepsister to use for the love lusting in “Cinderella III”. I know Drizella is pretty mean, but does she not also deserve love in her life?

WTF, Disney? This doesn’t make any sense!

To be fair, “Cinderella III” was a far superior to “Cinderella II”. I had trouble paying attention to “II” and honestly didn’t see the whole thing because I was a) bored and b) taking care of a tired baby. Maybe “III” was just supposed to be a reboot? I don’t know. But seriously, Drizella was right there. All plot conflicts could have been solved if SHE was the one seeking true love in “III”. Or, better yet, if the stepmother wanted the riches of royalty so badly, why didn’t she use the magic to get herself married to the prince?

Disney, WTF?

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TV Tuesdays: New Marina

The other day I was in the kitchen while my husband was watching “Fresh Beat Band” with the kids in the living room. Suddenly I hear my husband, Dr. Toy Warden, say:

“What the…? Who is THAT?”

Lily: “That’s Marina, Daddy.”

Dr. Toy Warden: “That is NOT Marina. Did they change Marina?”

Me: “How could they change Marina? That’s ridiculous. It must be someone else.”

I came in the room and sure enough there was a girl with red hair who was supposed to be Marina, but she was clearly NOT Marina.

Me: “OMG, they changed Marina! How could they change Marina? That girl looks freaky.”

Lily: “That’s Marina. She has red hair.”

Me: “Um… yes. You’re right.”

It was not Marina. Marina, previously played by Shayna Rose, has been replaced by a new actress, Tara Perry. According to what I can find, Shayna Rose left to pursue other interests (like perhaps acting and singing in a more dignified setting) and “get married”. Because getting married, I guess, means you have to leave the Fresh Beat Band?

Shayna Rose, aka Marina #1, the good Marina

The new Marina looks nothing like the old Marina. They didn’t even dye her hair the same color. She looks ridiculously different. I wish they had written her out of the series and added a new band member rather than just plop in this new actress who fools no one (except for Lily, apparently). If she hadn’t been wearing the same outfit (with a few modifications) as the old Marina and people weren’t calling her Marina, I never would have guessed who she was.

Tara Perry, aka Marina #2, the imposter

I think this may be the beginning of the end for Fresh Beat. I thought the show was doing great up until now, but suddenly they change the actress AND the outfits. It’s not the same show and even if Lily didn’t notice there’s a new Marina, I can guaranty that most other kids will.

Also, Twist looks really old all of a sudden. He aged a good 5 years since the last new episode I saw him in, and it wasn’t a 5 year old episode. So maybe it IS time for some new blood on Fresh Beat, but let’s write in new characters instead of just swapping look-alikes that look NOTHING alike.

I’m way more bothered by this than I should be.

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TV Tuesdays: Tinker Bell and The Lost Treasure

First of all, this movie made me aware that I’ve been mentally misspelling “Tinker Bell” my entire life. Doesn’t it seem like it should be “Tinkerbell”? Why the space between “Tinker” and “Bell”? Every time I type “Tinker Bell”, I have to force myself to put the space in the middle. It’s just not right.

Regardless, I have some major issues with the morals in “Tinker Bell and The Lost Treasure”.

Tinker Bell is entrusted with a vital task to the survival of not only the fairies but all of nature. The fairies, who are responsible for the passage of seasons, need pixie dust to fly and complete most of their tasks (though this confuses me. They have wings. Why don’t the wings work without pixie dust. I can see why people need pixie dust to fly, but why fairies?). The fairy queen gives Tinker Bell the only moonstone found by the fairies in hundreds of years. The moonstone uses a special type of moonlight one special night a year to make pixie dust (or a special pixie dust starter. I’m a little unclear on this). Tinker Bell is supposed to make a scepter to hold the moonstone in a way to best use the moonlight to make pixie dust.

Tinker Bell works really hard to make the scepter and is nearly finished about two days before the special moonlight night when her friend accidentally breaks the scepter. That alone put the pixie dust manufacturing and therefore ALL OF NATURE in danger, but did Tinker Bell tell her superiors about the threat or seek outside help to get her scepter done sooner? No. Of course not. That would make her look bad to others.

While trying to figure out what to do about the broken scepter, Tinker Bell kicks this stopwatch, which pops open and crushes the precious moonstone vital to pixie dust production. That’s right, she breaks the only moonstone the fairies have found in hundreds of years. It is only two days before the special moonlight.

Surely now she should tell her superiors.

BUT SHE DOESN’T.

Instead she decides to search for a legendary magical mirror in a sunken pirate ship on a far away island and runs off on a dangerous mission all by herself. Clearly this is what our children should do if they break something important to us– go to a deserted island and search for potentially fictional treasures.

It’s just irresponsible.

In the end, at the very last minute with no other choices left Tinker Bell realizes she can use the broken moonstone to capture even more moonlight and improve pixie dust production.

But she still doesn’t tell anyone what happened. She lets the other fairies believe she purposefully broke their precious moonstone and that she was brilliant to think more reflective surface area meant more pixie dust.

And they are HAPPY she broke their only moonstone because it worked.

What if it hadn’t worked? If she HAD done it on purpose, how is it ok to break the only moonstone found in hundreds of years without asking first?

I’m really bothered that she took credit for the broken moonstone as if it were a brilliant idea instead of an accident. I don’t get how this is morally ok, I don’t like that she didn’t tell ANYONE where she was going or never let anyone know there was a problem with such a vital part of fairy life. She could have had help. More minds working on a solution could only be a good thing. They were on a time crunch. They needed an answer fast. It was not ok to just run away to a far away island looking for some magical solution.

But no. In the end, Tinker Bell is rewarded for her brilliance.

And she doesn’t deserve it.

And I will never ever understand why the writers thought this was ok. Other lessons are learned in this movie, but the lying and the undue credit just really bother me.

Now I need to rewatch the other Tinker Bell movies to see if Tinker Bell always gets away with murder. Maybe the mean-spirited Vidia is just giving Tinker Bell the treatment she deserves.

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TV Tuesday: What Year Is It?

Am I the only one who feels like she’s traveled in a time machine when the opening theme song for “Super Why” comes on?

I can’t put my finger on what show it sounds like, but it feels very ’70s to me. Just listening to it kind of makes me giggle.

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TV Tuesdays: Brothers or Cousins

The other day we were watching the HBO Family show “Kindergarten,” which is a documentary about a kindergarten class. During the episode, the children were discussing whether they had siblings. I was quizzing Lily about who was in her family and asked if she had any brothers.

Lily: YES!

Me: What? No you don’t!

Lily: Yes I do! I have two brothers!

Me: (thinking she’s joking) You are so silly! Who are these two brothers? Where are they? How come I don’t know about them?

Lily: (looking upset. Oops. Bad mom moment) They are at Grandma and Grandpa’s house.

Aha. She thought her cousins Isaac and Evan were her brothers! I had to explain that even though the boys were in her family, they weren’t her brothers. I explained that brothers only come out of Mommy’s tummy and live in the same house as you (Other options exist in the world at large, but that’s the only viable scenario for Lily at this point.).

The funny thing is in South Korea almost all male acquaintances are informally called brothers. Lily, Rose and their cousins are all at least half Korean. If they were all hanging out in South Korea, she would be correct to call them her brothers. So, in a way she was brilliant to think this, though I’m 99% sure she wasn’t aware of the cultural reasons her association was correct. She really thought Isaac and Evan were her brothers even though they live in completely different states from us and each other!

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TV Tuesdays: Blonds Have The Most Magic

If “Tangled” teaches us nothing else, it’s that blond hair is magical and brown hair only happens when magic is destroyed.

As if little brown-haired girls didn’t have enough of a reason to wish they had blond hair, here comes this movie showing glowing golden hair with healing powers turn brown and powerless when it is cut. I had hoped that my daughter would see that having brown hair would make Rapunzel free, but instead she says she wishes Rapunzel’s hair would stay “yellow” because it is “so pretty” when it is magical.

There are a lot of things that could have happened to Rapunzel’s hair when it was cut. I’m not sure if turning it brown was the best choice given the movie’s target viewing audience. It could have just stopped glowing. It could have turned purple or a different shade of blond, but turning it brown just flat out says “brown isn’t as good as blond.”

True, Rapunzel was happier and had a better life once her hair changed color. I know that’s supposed to be the take home message, but you see something else when her stunning golden hair turns brown. You see that blond looked better. Then you have another generation of little girls who are sad that they don’t have blond hair.

Sure, little girls everywhere probably would have wanted blond hair anyway. Who doesn’t wish they were a natural blond? But this movie certainly doesn’t help the situation.

At least they gave her a cute haircut to turn it brown. Who knew that a dying man with a piece of glass could layer so it so masterfully?

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TV Tuesdays: Tangled Gives Moms a Bad Rep

Every time Lily watches “Tangled”, I cringe during the “mother” scenes. Rapunzel’s fake mother, aka the woman who abducts her to abuse the power of her magical healing hair, has to be one of the most evil and manipulative mother figures in Disney history.

Mother Gothel pretends to be a caring and loving and have Rapunzel’s best interests at heart, but we all know she’s only using Rapunzel to get to her hair. The manipulation is obvious to adults who can follow the plot line and understand the verbal introduction, but then there’s my 3 year old. I’m pretty sure she doesn’t understand this seemingly kind mother who later tries to kill Rapunzel’s love interest Eugene isn’t REALLY Rapunzel’s mom.

I worry that when she hears the song “Mother Knows Best” and sees the evil things Rapunzel’s mother is doing, she is questioning me and thinking that maybe I am also an evil mother. I tell her the things I do for her are in her best interest, but what if I’m secretly using her for her magical… something. And there are times that I might appear mean, maybe even evil for someone so small. And, like Mother Gothel, I slip in a lot of “I love yous” and hugs. It has to be confusing.

Mother Gothel’s deceit and manipulation makes for a great movie. My daughter and I both love it, but sometimes I question whether I should keep letting her watch it over and over again or if my authority and intentions will come into question. I’ve been explaining that Mother Gothel is not really Rapunzel’s mother and the kind queen at the end of the movie is REALLY the mom, but who knows how much Lily believes me.

Next Week’s TV Tuesday: My thoughts on “Tangled’s” treatment of hair color.

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TV Tuesdays: dirtgirlworld

Do you want to have some nightmares tonight? You know you do. Click on this link and check out “dirtgirlworld”.

Pretty freaky, right? What’s up with the real eyes and mouths meshed into computer animated faces? What’s up with the bobblehead bodies? Why? WHY?!

To top things off, Dirtgirl is completely annoying. It’s neat that she’s British, but her voice is grating.

I think the show has neat concepts– getting kids interested in gardening and playing outside, recycling etc.– but the animation is so insane I can’t bear to watch it. Computer animated characters should never ever have real facial features. Never. Computer animate or use real actors. Never both in the same character. It’s just sacrilegious.

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TV Tuesdays: The Educational Checklist

Today’s TV Tuesday comes to us from Fizzy, a doctor mom who draws hilarious medical training cartoons over at A Cartoon Guide to Becoming a Doctor.

Don’t get me wrong, I like when kid TV shows are educational in some way. Certainly it’s better when shows have some sort of teaching value beyond a sponge getting himself into mischief. But it’s a little irritating when the teaching seems really tacked on. It’s like there’s some sort of educational checklist and each show must check off a certain number of boxes to be considered educational. If that’s true, I can hypothesize about what some of these checkboxes might be:

–Teaching another language. This is fine on a show like Dora the Explorer or even Handy Manny, but does every single show need to have Spanish in it? It’s kind of baffling when the kid on Martha Speaks (the show about the talking dog) suddenly has a mom that’s Hispanic and now the talking dog is learning Spanish too. I mean, it’s already impressive the dog talks. Does she need to be bilingual?

–Learning about a disability. On the (now canceled?) show Dragon Tales, all of a sudden there was a recurring dragon character that used a wheelchair. All the other dragons can both walk AND fly… so this dragon kid really got screwed. It felt very tacked on, especially since he appeared soon after a random Spanish-speaking character was introduced.

–Team work. If Wonderpets is any indication, this a big teaching point. Honestly, Wonderpets, I do think there are a few problems in life that CAN be solved without team work.

–Asking questions of the kids watching the show. I get it when the question is something educational, like a math-related question or something, but my daughter’s new favorite show is Jake and the Neverland Pirates and they always ask the same damn questions! “What’s the secret pirate password?” (Yo ho ho — not very secure, by the way) and “What can we use to help us fly?” (Pixie dust. Duh.) How is this in any way educational? I don’t know what that show teaches, beyond not to steal other people’s junk.

There are many shows that are good at weaving educational points seamlessly into the plot of the show. Like when Word Girl teaches a new word, it’s usually relevant and cute. But if Word Girl starts speaking Spanish, I’m going to be pissed off.

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TV Tuesday: Team Umizoomi

“Team Umizoomi” is one of those rare children shows where I actually feel like my child is learning something while she’s watching it, but something about it bothers me every single time. I absolutely hate it when the computer animated characters meet up with real children to help them solve a problem. I know this is the whole premise of the show so by saying I hate this makes it seem like I hate the whole show, but that’s not it. What I hate is that the people they use for the show are real instead of computer animated when the characters are computer animated.

For some reason computer-animated characters with living actors look completely wrong to me even though I grew up loving the cartoon plus people portions of “Mary Poppins” and “Who Framed Roger Rabbit”. It is whimsical when Roger Rabbit, who is clearly a 2D drawing, hangs out with the disgruntled detective, but it is creepy when a member of Team Umizoomi sits on a little girl’s shoulder.

Maybe it has something to do with scale. The members of Team Umizoomi are absolutely tiny. They look bizarre hanging out on the shoulders of real children. Roger Rabbit was smaller than the actors in his movie, but he looked big enough to at least be talking to them. Team Umizoomi’s characters look roughly the size of butterflies. How often small things the size of butterflies talk to you?

It could be that the computer animation is supposed to look 3D, but when you put the characters into the real world they look even more fake. They somehow look even more fake than the drawings in “Mary Poppins”.

I think the show would work much better if they animated the children Team Umizoomi was helping. The creep factor would disappear and everyone would look correct together.

I don’t know why drawings work better with real people than computer animation, but they just do. So don’t mess with it, Nickelodeon!

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