As aunt of a preschooler and an aspiring voiceover actress (I understood all these hours of watching Bugs Bunny would come in handy), I know all the kids’ reveals as perfectly as every kids’ DVD out there.
In my belief, there is no greater way superstars can recoup their outrageous salaries than entertaining and often educating young ones. And They Might Be Giants get the “cooler than Elvis” vote for singing the topic music to a single of Playhouse Disney’s most recent hits, “Higglytown Heroes,” which is also on their CD/DVD for young children, “Right here Occur the ABCs.”
For all those of you not acquainted with all points Higgly (an adjective made use of as a lot as “Smurfy” but not, thank Higgles, as a verb), the sequence centers on a tiny town and four tots named Eubie, Kip, and siblings Wayne and Twinkle. Believe “South Park” with much better art and no foul mouths. The strongest language is, “Aw, pickles,” generally uttered by Twinkle (pinker than Trista Rehn Sutter!) just after her fanciful ideas for solving the kids’ dilemmas get carefully punctured by Fran, a friendly squirrel voiced by Edie McClurg.
In every single two-episode 50 percent-hour clearly show, the Higgly Little ones experience widespread, innocent childhood activities this sort of as finding a caterpillar, hosting a television bash for the Delighted Bushy Higgly Monster Primetime Special, shedding a tooth, Kip’s Grandpa locked in the rest room, or caring for an not happy hen. The little ones try to resolve their difficulties, guided by Fran who is the voice of explanation, served by their loving families and the ever-enthusiastic oddly Invoice and Ted-ish Pizza Male…moreover somebody special. Then arrives the inevitable tune…
“Another person unique, who could it be?
This job’s also massive for you and me.
We will need some assist!
But by no means worry-o,
It looks like a job for a…Higglytown Hero!
A Higglytown Hero!”
Some of the heroes are all-natural possibilities, especially immediately after September 11: Police Girl, Firefighter, etcetera. But how many of us imagine of sanitation workers, electricians, plumbers, gardeners, mail carriers (voiced by Kathie Lee Gifford) and farmers as heroes? Or a telephone operator (voiced by Cyndi Lauper)? Even though the heroes have celebrity voices, the Higgly Kids find that the actual stars all all around them are the men and women who clear up issues each and every day.
Some of the dilemmas get a little absurd from an adult perspective. For instance, when Kip climbs a tree to conserve a beloved neighborhood cat and her kittens, his pals help him. Why, when he will get caught, cannot they aid him again down? Ahem…when was the final time you tripped and panicked? You want help in your personal daily life every day with no imagining about it.
The elegance of “Higglytown Heroes” is that it celebrates working jointly, “owning entertaining alongside one another,” and the Higgly Little ones as well as their family members under no circumstances consider for granted the Heroes in their lives. The Electrician (Lance Bass) will get invited to share in the “Higgly Monsters” Television set party soon after fixing the circuitry for Kip’s dwelling. The Fire Fighter (Donald Faison) who will get Kip out of the tree shares in a birthday get together for the neighborhood cat. How a lot of of us go out of our way to thank the folks who make our life much easier? At times we neglect to see them as persons with wants and feelings.
We even forget to see our possess family members as heroes. Kip’s Grandmama (voice of “Golden Girl” Betty White, with Rose Nylund-like hairdo) knits the little ones sweaters. Kip’s true-estate agent Mom, Bitty, acts like the soul of ’50s domesticity, but receives rewarded when Kip and his close friends make her a get-nicely card. Wayne’s Mom, Plunkie, exhibits the youngsters a caterpillar and drives them to the seashore, when Wayne and Twinkle’s Uncle Lemmo cooks them breakfast at his diner and, in the Christmas specific, drives Wayne and Twinkle about in his sleigh.
Interestingly, Higgly households aren’t often nuclear households, something Disney portrays as usual with no calling notice to it. Kip’s family is the proverbial nuclear relatives, with twin sisters, a toddler sister, a mother and dad, Fripp, (who operates a sizzling canine cart), and two grandparents who possibly are living in Kip’s huge house or take a look at frequently. Twinkle and Wayne’s mom seems to be a one mother or father (even though all are African-American, no a single has screamed racism still), and Eubie is evidently being elevated by his Southern-accented Aunt Mellie and Uncle Zooter, with visits from his Southern-accented Grandpop Crank (a farmer).
In several ways, Higglytown is idealized. No one particular truly seems to fret about work, cash or standing. Men and women go to the library, and a Librarian is a Higglytown Hero! The kids “get the job done real challenging” and acquire obligation (gasp) by thinking up strategies to support by themselves and their people, and in each individual episode there are minimal moral lessons and tips (consider treatment of your pets, never use as well significantly electrical power, make someone smile) to exhibit the young ones how they can improve up to be…Higglytown Heroes!
Cynics and naysayers will deride this as kiddie pablum. I call it a refreshing dose of fact and a tribute to the heroes all around us. The Disney animators are Higglytown Heroes for making this demonstrate.
Author’s Note: Right after this review at first produced the rounds on the Website, actor Rory Thost, who delivers the voice of “Kip,” was type plenty of to be a “Higglytown Hero” and make my day by telling me how a lot he and the forged liked the critique. For all of all those who believe our young ones are complete troublemakers, younger Master Rory Thost is 13: http://imdb.com/name/nm1191277/?fr=c2l0ZT1kZnxteD0yMHxzZz0xfGxtPTIwMHx0dD1vbnxwbj0wfHE9cm9yeSB0aG9zdHxodG1sPTF8bm09b24_fc=1ft=4. His showbiz job is previously longer than mine! Additional importantly, in a planet in which lousy actions by famous people is regrettably the norm, this younger guy remains polite, experienced, nicely-educated and effectively-grounded.
Author’s Notice II: This sequence gets better and improved. The continuity is even on a par with most primetime exhibits. Kip has adopted a canine named “Shadow,” who can make guest appearances we fulfill Fran’s mom and dad following seeing them in the Xmas unique Eubie’s Grandpop will become a Higglytown Hero Eubie’s fowl Flappy can 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 Note III: Disney has created Higglytown Heroes Toys. This sequence has, er, legs!