As aunt of a preschooler and an aspiring voiceover actress (I understood all people hours of observing Bugs Bunny would appear in helpful), I know all the kids’ demonstrates as effectively as every single kids’ DVD out there.
In my viewpoint, there’s no much better way superstars can recoup their outrageous salaries than entertaining and occasionally educating little ones. And They May Be Giants get the “cooler than Elvis” vote for singing the topic tune to just one of Playhouse Disney’s most recent hits, “Higglytown Heroes,” which is also on their CD/DVD for little ones, “Listed here Arrive the ABCs.”
For people of you not acquainted with all issues Higgly (an adjective made use of as a great deal as “Smurfy” but not, thank Higgles, as a verb), the series facilities on a compact city and four tots named Eubie, Kip, and siblings Wayne and Twinkle. Think “South Park” with greater artwork and no foul mouths. The strongest language is, “Aw, pickles,” commonly uttered by Twinkle (pinker than Trista Rehn Sutter!) right after her fanciful ideas for resolving the kids’ dilemmas get gently punctured by Fran, a helpful squirrel voiced by Edie McClurg.
In just about every two-episode fifty percent-hour present, the Higgly Little ones knowledge frequent, innocent childhood events this kind of as locating a caterpillar, hosting a television social gathering for the Pleased Bushy Higgly Monster Primetime Distinctive, shedding a tooth, Kip’s Grandpa locked in the bathroom, or caring for an sad hen. The children attempt to solve their problems, guided by Fran who is the voice of reason, aided by their loving people and the ever-enthusiastic oddly Invoice and Ted-ish Pizza Male…additionally somebody unique. Then arrives the inescapable song…
“Another person distinctive, who could it be?
This job’s as well big for you and me.
We want some assist!
But hardly ever dread-o,
It appears to be like like a work for a…Higglytown Hero!
A Higglytown Hero!”
Some of the heroes are all-natural choices, specifically just after September 11: Police Female, Firefighter, and many others. But how quite a few of us assume of sanitation employees, electricians, plumbers, gardeners, mail carriers (voiced by Kathie Lee Gifford) and farmers as heroes? Or a phone operator (voiced by Cyndi Lauper)? Even though the heroes have celebrity voices, the Higgly Young children discover that the serious stars all about them are the men and women who solve problems every single working day.
Some of the dilemmas get a minor absurd from an adult standpoint. For case in point, when Kip climbs a tree to save a beloved neighborhood cat and her kittens, his good friends enable him. Why, when he will get trapped, are not able to they help him again down? Ahem…when was the last time you tripped and panicked? You need to have support in your personal daily life every working day devoid of contemplating about it.
The splendor of “Higglytown Heroes” is that it celebrates operating with each other, “owning exciting collectively,” and the Higgly Children as properly as their households never ever acquire for granted the Heroes in their lives. The Electrician (Lance Bass) gets invited to share in the “Higgly Monsters” Tv set occasion following fixing the circuitry for Kip’s house. The Fire Fighter (Donald Faison) who receives Kip out of the tree shares in a birthday bash for the community cat. How several of us go out of our way to thank the people today who make our lives less difficult? Sometimes we forget to see them as people today with requirements and emotions.
We even fail to remember to see our possess households as heroes. Kip’s Grandmama (voice of “Golden Girl” Betty White, with Rose Nylund-like hairdo) knits the young ones sweaters. Kip’s true-estate agent Mom, Bitty, acts like the soul of ’50s domesticity, but will get rewarded when Kip and his pals make her a get-perfectly card. Wayne’s Mom, Plunkie, demonstrates the youngsters a caterpillar and drives them to the seaside, when Wayne and Twinkle’s Uncle Lemmo cooks them breakfast at his diner and, in the Xmas distinctive, drives Wayne and Twinkle about in his sleigh.
Apparently, Higgly family members are not constantly nuclear family members, a little something Disney portrays as typical with no contacting notice to it. Kip’s spouse and children is the proverbial nuclear family members, with twin sisters, a infant sister, a mother and father, Fripp, (who operates a hot dog cart), and two grandparents who both live in Kip’s massive property or pay a visit to constantly. Twinkle and Wayne’s mom appears to be to be a solitary dad or mum (though all are African-American, no a person has screamed racism yet), and Eubie is apparently being lifted by his Southern-accented Aunt Mellie and Uncle Zooter, with visits from his Southern-accented Grandpop Crank (a farmer).
In many methods, Higglytown is idealized. No one genuinely looks to get worried about work opportunities, cash or standing. People today go to the library, and a Librarian is a Higglytown Hero! The young children “do the job serious hard” and acquire accountability (gasp) by considering up approaches to assistance themselves and their households, and in every episode there are tiny ethical classes and assistance (choose treatment of your animals, really don’t use way too a lot electrical energy, make someone smile) to clearly show the little ones how they can improve up to be…Higglytown Heroes!
Cynics and naysayers will deride this as kiddie pablum. I get in touch with it a refreshing dose of reality and a tribute to the heroes all all around us. The Disney animators are Higglytown Heroes for building this present.
Author’s Observe: Immediately after this critique initially produced the rounds on the Net, actor Rory Thost, who provides the voice of “Kip,” was variety plenty of to be a “Higglytown Hero” and make my working day by telling me how significantly he and the solid favored the overview. For all of individuals who consider our little ones are comprehensive troublemakers, young Grasp Rory Thost is thirteen: http://imdb.com/title/nm1191277/?fr=c2l0ZT1kZnxteD0yMHxzZz0xfGxtPTIwMHx0dD1vbnxwbj0wfHE9cm9yeSB0aG9zdHxodG1sPTF8bm09b24_fc=1ft=4. His showbiz occupation is by now lengthier than mine! Extra importantly, in a earth exactly where lousy behavior by superstars is sadly the norm, this younger guy remains polite, experienced, properly-educated and nicely-grounded.
Author’s Notice II: This collection receives improved and far better. The continuity is even on a par with most primetime shows. Kip has adopted a doggy named “Shadow,” who would make visitor appearances we meet up with Fran’s mother and father just after viewing them in the Xmas particular Eubie’s Grandpop becomes a Higglytown Hero Eubie’s chicken Flappy will make appearances from time to time. The Firefighter returns. The Electrician proposes to the Trainer, and Pizza Man and Fran get to be Higglytown Heroes!
Author’s Take note III: Disney has designed Higglytown Heroes Toys. This series has, er, legs!