A Children’s TV Observation

Because of my daughter, I watch much more children’s programming than I normally would.

I’ve noted that several programs seem primed for interactive television. Dora the Explorer and Mickey Mouse Club house come to mind as prime examples.

In their current state, Dora or Mickey will ask the viewer a question, and wait with an expectant look for an answer. My daughter never answers, and she becomes agitated if I do. I expect because she learned early on that Dora and Mickey will continue in a few seconds if she doesn’t say anything.

I originally thought that these programs were designed to encourage imagination in younger children. They could feel like they were part of the show. Now a cynical part of me wonders what the rights to translate these into interactive shows are. Once voice-activated control is integrated into our televisions, the shows could theoretically wait forever for a child to answer. Smart phones already have voice control, so this can’t be that far off.

My daughter is currently watching Jake and the Neverland Pirates. Again, Jake is asking my daughter a question. She still isn’t responding. Not until she knows he’s listening.

Also, Captain Hook is still too short. It constantly weirds me out. I still don’t get it. Was he considered too scary? Harder to animate? Someone involved, please let me know.

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About paulgude

Paul Gude writes small books, makes stupid music, draws silly pictures, and does weird things on stage.
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