Okay, I don’t think it’s really fair to point out flaws in educational cartoons for kids, but I just saw this one which I think was called Super Readers that had some things I feel like venting about, so… I will.
The main character is called Why. His baby sister just said her first word, which was his name. He told his family, but they didn’t believe him. Because of this, he summons his friends, the Super Readers to help him solve the problem. Apparently this is a situation that merits the intervention of superheroes. I thought that was kinda sad, but I figure this little storyland that these characters live in probably doesn’t have much in the way of crime, so I assumed they weren’t overly busy. If, after solving the problem, they hadn’t sang a song about how they “Saved The Day” I could have let it slide. A superhero calling in his friend superheroes to solve a terribly minor familial tiff doesn’t count as Saving The Day.
But the main problem is that, apparently the Super Readers solve problems by travelling into stories. This episode’s story was The Boy Who Cried Wolf. This is the classic story in which a young boy makes friends with a wolf and calls all his family to see, but the wolf had to go to the bathroom so he isn’t there when they arrive so nobody believes him. This happens a couple times until the family realizes they have to trust the boy and they wait around until the wolf finally shows up and brings them all flowers.
Except… That’s almost EXACTLY the opposite of what that story is. They changed the story so drastically that they didn’t really need to go into that story at all. Now a generation of literate, but misinformed children will never learn the moral of not lying about dangerous things or you’ll be eaten. I base my life around that moral! When was the last time I claimed to have seen a wolf? Not ever, I can tell you.
But really, though, they really did a number on that story. On the plus side, I was able to deduce the Super Story Answer after getting only two of the Super Letters. It was “Trust”. That made me feel pretty good. So good I didn’t even point out to Why that his sister’s first word could also be a sign that she’s having some sort of existential crisis.
I know I only get like six television channels, but I find it sad that Saturday morning gave me no good cartoons on any of them.