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Sunday, September 19, 2010

Shaun the Sheep

"He's Shaun the sheep doo doo doo doo, he's shaun the sheep, doo doo doo doo, he even mucks about with those who cannot bleat. But keep in mind, he's one of a kind ohhhh life's a treat with Shaun the Sheep". 
Been hearing this British cockney tune that sounds like a pub song, in my head for about a month now. Its the theme song for my son's new favorite cartoon.  I encourage anyone to seek this song and cartoon out if you are tired of hearing "dedededed Dora, dededed Dora...blahblah Dora Alora" in your head all day long. 

When a brain integration therapist and father of two introduced Finbar to this hilarious cartoon character during a session we immediately went out and bought two DVDs for the next session, Finbar was so hooked (and I as well). We are now up to 5 Shaun the Sheep DVDs and I've just ordered a furry white cottonball of a Shaun the Sheep off ebay - had to get it from China.    Shaun the Sheep is from teh same creators of Wallace and Gromit and the movie Chicken Run. If you like the humor and wit in those movies, then Shaun is the Sheep for you.  This production company is like a British Pixar, except it is claymation and a hell of a lot funnier. I personally prefer clamation, so much opportunity for comedic gestures.  Anyway, the premise of Shaun the Sheep is that he is a sheep that does not run with the pack. He has his own ideas.  He is quite smart too. And usually up to no good. Since this described Finbar to a T, I suppose that is why he can relate. 

Recently, Finbar wanted a Shaun the Sheep lunchbox for school. I scoured the internet. Since he is a British cartoon character and not very well known in the USA, I had a hard time locating a lunchbox. None are sold or shipped to teh USA.  Given the difficulty in obtaining this lunchbox, I tried to encourage Finbar to choose a different and more common cartoon character, like Thomas the Train. I thought that his choice of a more "popular" lunchbox character might be an opportunity to share something in common with his peers. Yes I know, shallow and desperate thinking on my part.

 But then I went to school and saw the line up of lunch bags and knapsacks - Transformers, Spider Man, Batman, Skate punk decor, Spongebob, Toy Story - and thought, nevermind, fitting in is overated and expensive (perhaps with the exception of Star Wars my personal childhhood fave).  And I took a moment to rejoice in the fact that on this subject my son does not run with the pack and he has saved me lots of money in the process :)

Finbar's media tastes have never fit in really with his peers.  For all intensive cartoon watching purposes we are strangers in a foreign land. 

First there was Kipper, the lovely cute soft spoken British corgie dog.  Love those cartoons, great music, themes, simple language and art.  But few kids in the USA know who Kipper is, and even if they do, they prefer Micky Mouse or Bob the Builder. And you can't get a Kipper knapsack.

Then there was Oswald.  Another slow moving, soft spoke, simple themed Japanese cartoon.  I think even fewer kids know who Oswald is.  I personally am in love wtih this blue octopus who wears a box hat and his dachsund aptly named Weenie.

For the last year its been Pingu (the penguin) BIG TIME.  We have about 20 Pingu DVDs which I had to order from the Philipinnes off ebay.  Pingu is a claymation very slap stick non-verbal cartoon. It's Swiss made and so very clever. And I learned that David hasselhoff once recorded a rap song about Pingu.  Hm.  Anyway, I think we have met one child who knows who Pingu is.  But Pingu's lack of popularity amongst 5 yr old's in the USa is quite a mystery given the endless guffaws and hee haws that I have heard my 2 boys exclaiming with glee while watching this penguin dance on eggs and ice fish around antartica.

So there is our cartoon line-up.  you won't see SpongBob pajamas, Bob the Builder trucks, Go Diego backpacks, Wall-E posters or Mickey Mouse coloring books at our house.   I think of all teh money I have saved on "paraphrenalia" simply because my son with autism does not relate to fast moving, fast talking, busy graphics and adult themes of today's kid cartoons and movies.

Over the past few years, I figure I have saved a boatload of money because my child's sensory and socio-emotional make-up leads him to dislike what most kids are drawn to in cartoons.  So we do not see kid movies.  If you take the 3 Shreks, 3 Toy Stories, Up, Bolt, Monsters vs. Aliens, Cars, Nemo, Wall-E, Princess Frog, Ponyo, Bug's Life and tehre are so many more that we have not seen, that would be at least $300 that we have NOT spent on seeing movies.  Then figure in teh cost of the paraphrenalia. Pajams, toys galore, shirts, shoes, DVDs, backpacks, books, toys, toys, toys...and my kids have little interest in visiting Disneyland at $70 a pop.   I am starting to feel like I CAN afford that cruise to Mexico after all. Yes, life's a treat with Shaun the Sheep :)


Mommy Bunny said...

That is too funny, we also watch Kipper and Shawn the Sheep. I haven't met anyone else who watches them. I'll have to check out the other ones!

Rebecca Royce said...

Love you! Just so you know, we know Oswald quite well in this house. My kids enjoy him very, very much! But I am going to check out these others..

Aileen said...

Rebecca sent me this way ;) How curious that none of his favorites are American made. Not that I want you to have to spend, spend, spend, but it shows a gap in childhood programming. It sounds like he has some great choices, though.

Virginia said...

I remember Kipper! I think you have pretty much nailed why he is not interested in todays main line media for children.
And as mother of five I can seriously see why you would be happy about the lower cost, LOL.;)