Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Battle for Dream Island!!!

As a parent, I end up having to watch a lot of low-quality kids' entertainment. My general strategy is (as long as it's not something actively offensive), just not to worry too hard about it, and let my kids learn and decide for themselves what they like. And when I find kids' programming that I think is clever, to recommend it:

Enter Battle for Dream Island, a cartoon series my kids found on YouTube.

I've gotten hooked on this series with them because I think it's clever and funny. But there's an additional, unusual aspect of it that impressed me:

The series started with twenty contestants (all of them anthropomorphized objects) with approximately an equal split between male and female characters. Yet -- even though it's a cartoon -- the female characters aren't given any of the typical signals to mark them as female (eg. big lips and eyelashes). The characters vary widely in personality, hence aren't gender-stereotyped. I know this shouldn't be exceptional, but I don't think I've ever seen any cartoon do this. And yet it works. It works great, in fact!

The series is almost over (after a run of a couple years), but I look forward to seeing what the artists do next. Go Leafy!!

(see also this post for contrast)


jen said...

I wish it wasn't so rare that a series wouldn't gender stereotype, but that is really cool... You've got me hooked. :)

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RandomGuyOnTheInternet said...

I saw my kid watching this show, and it seemed fine at first until I heard "lets kill him." I thought "That's a little violent." So I tried watching an episode on my own. I watched the episode "Get in the Van." My first red flag was the thumbnail, it was one of the characters,a match, shoving it's head into the bottom of another character, a piece of jello. Another red flag was the name, children should not be told to get in any vans unless it's their own. I ignored these things and continued watching. 2 minutes in, characters are making friendships over people they hate. Then a piece of metal walks by, those two characters are throwing needles filled with a substance at it trying to kill it. I watched another episode and skipped around with it. I found characters dumping what seemed to be bleach into a giant pool of nasty stuff, it then zooms in on the character and the bottle was labeled "blood." There are a lot more violent, mature, and drug themes in this series. I honestly think this show should not be shown to children because of these things.

C. L. Hanson said...

You may be right. I think that there's a lot of cleverness about this series, but there's a lot of questionable aspects as well...