I don’t know if I mentioned this before but my son loves the show Maisy Mouse. I can’t blame him, it’s rather perfect for an infant his age. Lots of bright primary colors, catchy music, the animation is slow enough for him to follow, and no annoying plot-lines to confuse things. For him it’s probably akin to watching videos of children playing, albeit animated.
But the more I watch it the more I find certain elements disturbing. (Look, when you don’t feel good and you’re at home with a baby there ain’t much to do but watch preschool shows.) First of all, there is this abnormal, human-size mouse and her friends (also abnormally large) who wear clothes and live in houses and have some sort of rudimentary speech. (But not complete speech or any recognizable words, which is at times disturbing in and of itself.) Now many children’s programs have walking, talking, dressing animals. That part is fine. What’s weird is that all the other animals on the show seem to be of proportionately normal size and capacity… except for Maisy and her friends. Maisy, on occasion, feeds normal birds bread crumbs and sees regular old rabbits in her garden. OK. So it’s really obvious that she is not a normal mouse. I mean she’s almost the same size as the show’s walking, talking crocodile. Secondly, and coincidentally, all of the animators for this show have Russian-sounding* names.
All I can think is Chernobyl.
I have to assume that Maisy isn’t actually a mouse. She may very well be some sort of accidental hybrid of mouse and human, mutated from exposure to radiation. Her and all her little mutated friends – Tallulah the bird, Cyril the Squirrel, and of course, Charlie (I’m not touching Charlie) are all a by-product of the post-industrialist age. Is it any coincidence that they ALL live in the same town? This is what happens when scientists play god, folks. Mutant animals get their own TV show. Maisy, rather like Godzilla, is an indictment of the nuclear era; silently conditioning our pre-schoolers to prefer eco-friendly solutions.
It’s ALL an elaborate plot!
Well… at least they have a community and a livelihood. Poor mutant Russians.
– the weirdgirl
*Third disturbing element – I’ve seen Eastern Bloc cartoons before at animation festivals (yes, I’m that much of a geek). The ones I’ve seen seem to feature a lot of mice and/or rats. These cartoons always exhibit a film noir-esque animation style and these rats/mice also don’t talk. I don’t know what they represent, but I know it means something.