Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Someone Please Explain the Rules to Me

Anyone who regularly watches children's television knows that there are certain idiosyncratic rules for a show, equivalent to R2D2 talking only in beeps, but being perfectly understandable to C3PO and other allies.

In Bob the Builder, all the machines (bulldozer, cement mixer, etc) are able to talk, but none of the animals do. In Handy Manny, all the tools (hammer, wrench, and so on) run around of their own accord, but no other inanimate objects do. In old days of Sesame Street, children could see the Snufflelaphagus, but adults could not. Shows have their gimmicks and pretty much stick to them.

Or at least most do. We've been watching Oswald with Q-ster lately, and I'm really confused. Oswald is a very round octopus (yay!) who wears a bowler hat and has a pet dog, Weenie. Oswald speaks (voiced by Fred Savage of Wonder Years fame, no less), but Weenie does not. Oswald lives in the same apartment building as his best friend Henry, a penguin. Their other compatriot is Daisy, a walking, talking flower. There is a snowman who sells ice cream, and a café owner named Madame Butterfly (yes, she's a butterfly) who pushes her larval daughter Catrina in a stroller. A set of five co-joined paper dolls didn't seem to suffer in an episode's rainstorm. Other friends include a pair of eggs who speak with British accents and aren't afraid of being eaten by other characters.

I have no idea what the rules for this world are. I think anything goes. Perhaps the creators were enjoying a chemical high when they came up with the concept. It's deeply weird, but very friendly and non-irritating, so we continue to watch.

Picture: Oswald, carefully wearing a safety harness and hat while ascending a tall ladder.


Bea said...

I think Kenneth Grahame invented that particular blend of the fantastic and the bizarre, with horseback-riding toads who keep pet canaries in cages.

I was reading a book to the Pie yesterday about talking vehicles. I was fine with it when the bus and train with beeping and whistling at each other, but when the riderless moped showed up and went toot-toot that seemed a little weird.

Mamacita Tina said...

Must be created by children where rules just don't apply.

Mayberry said...

Oswald rules. It went off Noggin for awhile and we were very sad. Glad it's back. We esp. love the egg brothers.

Anonymous said...

Are they all toys? That might explain it. Like Toy Story and the 3 conjoined sheep.

Fourth Breakfast

Lara said...

i like the banner. :)

kittenpie said...

It is my feeling that when it comes to Dan Yaccarino, like J. Otto Siebold, you just have to go with it and embrace the absurdity.

And? GREAT banner.