Dark deconstructions of children's TV shows/characters?
August 18, 2019 7:47 AM   Subscribe

I've read fantastic, dark - often very political analyses - of TV shows like Thomas the Tank Engine, Teletubbies, Mr.Blobby, and Sesame Street's Oscar the Grouch.... but I'd like to find some more. What other dystopian, playful, surreal, philosophical, deconstructive readings of kid's television shows/characters are out there?

I am more interested in kid's TV shows, rather than movies, because there is more material to go with, but certain classic films, like Willy Wonka perhaps, would be appreciated too
posted by 0bvious to Media & Arts (13 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
 


I don't think this is exactly what you're looking for--it's more of a parody, and it's a video about a book, but I cannot resist sharing Werner Herzog reads Curious George.
posted by gideonfrog at 8:06 AM on August 18 [3 favorites]


They wouldn't be analyses, and forgive the self-linkage, but in the ancient mid-'90s beginnings of the Internet, there were cyberpunk readings of Peanuts and anti-Christ readings of Barney and Friends.
posted by WCityMike at 10:45 AM on August 18


There's always this funny yet accurate movie description of The Wizard of Oz by writer Rick Polito:
Transported to a surreal landscape, a young girl kills the first person she meets and then teams up with three strangers to kill again.
posted by mochapickle at 11:06 AM on August 18 [4 favorites]


It's such a long build-up that I can't recommend it to the uninitiated, but if you happen to have been into early Animorphs and then drifted away midway through like so many did, you should know that the final three-ish books are basically exactly this. It's tragic and glorious and ruined my childhood whilst simultaneously forging my young adulthood.
posted by teremala at 11:18 AM on August 18 [1 favorite]




There are various theories that all the Rugrats kids are either made up by Angela or all dead kids she imagines she talks to.

And since you mentioned Willy Wonka and political analyses, I just last night read this fantastic and detailed argument that Violet should have gotten the factory.
posted by rhiannonstone at 4:05 PM on August 18 [2 favorites]


Oh, and dark/surreal Garfield interpretations and mashups are a weird internet thing right now:
posted by rhiannonstone at 4:28 PM on August 18 [2 favorites]


How to read Donald Duck. Great deconstruction of the colonialism implicit in the comic.
posted by wires at 6:23 PM on August 18 [1 favorite]


Annoyingly I can only find an old Mumsnet thread and a few comments on Twitter on googling, but there are SO MANY theories about the Bing Bunny universe. The darkest is that the children are all dead (hence the lack of adults, their parents are still alive and living in the normal non-rabbit world), and that Flop, Amma and Paget are angels shepherding them through the afterlife. Hence the gentle parenting techniques and lack of shouting when Bing smashes Flop's phone.
posted by tinkletown at 8:44 PM on August 18




Dave Chappelle / Sesame Street / Oscar the Grouch

Only a few minutes long but so spot on, I pee myself laughing.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 4:23 PM on August 20 [1 favorite]


With regards to bizarre Garfields, let's not forget Cortex's Garkov.
posted by WCityMike at 4:56 PM on August 21


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