Where Is Our Focus?

4Kids actually updated the Chaotic/DK section of OnDemand, so I’m happily listening to my cartoons while I slog through my morning routine. It’s funny…I had noticed early on in Dinosaur King that there was a hint of educational content not entirely dissimilar from the cartoons I grew up with. It was right around the time I’d noticed Magi-Nation‘s potential to actually live up to its E/I rating. I apparently have to dig through this blog to find it, but I’m pretty sure I’d noted the “savannah” definition before this morning.

I was watching the Harry Potter movies yesterday and thinking about this, too, but educational moments in cartoons/books/movies can happen much like they do in real life: on the spot and spontaneously. And it seems completely natural if done correctly (although TNG taught us it can look like pointless exposition if done incorrectly). Children’s media is aware of this. They just don’t always execute well. I wonder why that is…

During the movies, I saw a commercial for Disney Princesses-themed Huffy bikes. Two girls, pretending they were princesses, were off on their bikes to save their prince (a teddy bear). It wasn’t much of a rescue, but it was far more than we often get from Disney at all. But it wasn’t Disney. It was Huffy.

The Disney Princesses are under a lot of attack these days because more and more parents (and feminists) are realizing that these fictional young women have great influence over their precious little princesses, and that some of them send the wrong message (or…a message that they don’t want their angels to pick up). It makes me wonder how much influence that had on this attempt to make the Princesses more adventurous heroes. (You’ll note Mulan is hardly ever a part of the Princess phenomenon, but maybe this will be the impetus to get more parents to divorce their darling jewels from Ariel…just in time to introduce them to Bella Swan, who is really same-song-second-verse.)

No…seriously…we celebrate and put emphasis on the wrong things, and we’re just starting to see what we’re doing.


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