Film and TV

4 Horrifying Interpretations of Children's Shows

Some people believe that children should be kept as far away from television as long as possible. Art Attack believes that if DJ Lance Rock can keep our 2-year-old daughter entertained long enough to go to the bathroom then it can't be all bad.

However, we may be watching a bit too much Sprout and Nick Jr. Lately, we've been seeing sinister things lurking below the surface of these bright, colorful edutainments. We freely admit that it's probably more our own derangement than any intent on the part of the show's creators, but some rather disturbing interpretations have become to make themselves apparent to us. Such as...

Yo Gabba Gabba is an Adaptation of I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream

Few shows have revolutionized children's programming like Yo Gabba Gabba. Focused on the lives of five toys that come to life at the hands of a magic DJ, the show has become the cool place to make a cameo as well as a launching pad for indie bands. Think of it asSaturday Night Live with morals.

Yet, just below the surface, the resemblances to one of Harlan Ellison's most famous and horrifying short stories abound. Both feature an omnipotent deity who controls the fate of five individuals for their own, unknown ends. Like the malevolent supercomputer AM of the story, DJ Lance Rock utterly rules every aspect of his test subjects', er... friends' lives. The further into the night we watch the show, the more his grin seems to imply that he enjoys the trials that the characters go through more than the lessons they learn from them.

Granted, Gabbaland is a much brighter place than Ellison's post-apocalyptic wasteland ruled by a hateful war computer dedicated to torturing the last of humanity, but it is still populated with giant worms and other horrors. Though Lance Rock has not yet begun to educate his subjects in the ways of his deep-seated hate, it can only be a matter of time.

On a similar note, we've taken to pretending Thomas the Tank Engine is actually a children's version of Atlas Shrugged narrated by George Carlin.

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Jef Rouner (not cis, he/him) is a contributing writer who covers politics, pop culture, social justice, video games, and online behavior. He is often a professional annoyance to the ignorant and hurtful.
Contact: Jef Rouner