Angela Natividad's Live & Uncensored!

17 October 2009

Please Maintain a 100-Ft Distance Between Your Skank Pen and My Childhood.

You can honor a throwback in ways that are clever and amusing to watch, and then there's a way to mutilate every good thing we love about a standby from the past.

Here is where you explain to me how Rainbow Brite goes from this:

To this:

Man, Rainbow Brite was all warm fuzzies. If I was six, I wouldn't want no New and Improved™ Harajuku Girl-looking supertramp doll. They'll whisper anorexia thoughts to me while I'm sleeping.

Okay, that's overstating. The Barbie collection didn't ricochet most girls into Wait-Until-Nobody's-Looking-to-Spit-Food-Out-into-Napkin Watchers, and Sailor Moon -- to which this revamp bears a curious resemblance -- is still one of my favourite anime epics.

But Barbie and Sailor Moon didn't start out as nice little chunketty moppets. Rainbow Brite did.

The show may be retro, but there's nothing about her appearance that'd make her a turn-off to kids today. Kids just like cartoons, man. That's their only criteria. They're not convoluted adults, checking for waistlines and coy smiles. Consider the popularity of Dora the Explorer, even before Mattel turned her into a ditzy-looking tween.

And don't even get me started on this 'shroom-tastic candy raver techno remix. (Gleaned from the Rainbow Brite website.)

I'm not trying to be all ra-ra feminist, but innocence is a period with a short shelf life that's getting progressively shorter. Kids have plenty of time afterward to trip out about if they should shave their legs or lose a few pounds.*

And when they're in their 20s and looking back...? There's nothing precious about animated versions of the Hollywood standard.

'Fraid I'm with Perez Hilton on this one. Hallmark -- ye responsible for this redesign -- make your own cartoons if you want. But keep your nasty platitude-stained fingers off stuff that already has a soul.


*Anecdote: I was 12 when I first expressed an angsty desire to shave my legs. My sister? 9. And the youngest...? She didn't say a word to us; she walked into the bathroom, picked up a razor and took half her eyebrows off. At 6.

1 comment:

Elle said...

NO! This is just damn wrong. I had a Rainbow Brite doll that I carried around EVERYWHERE. Even slept with.

Had it looked like that reformed...thing...I doubt I'd have grown so obsessed with it.