Just in case you aren’t familiar with Disney Junior, the above picture depicts, from L-R, Skully, Izzy, Cubby and Jake.
I really am starting to dislike some children’s telly, and in particular at the moment, Jake and the Neverland Pirates.
Here are my current reasons why:
1. Gold Dubloons!
When Jake and his band of buddies complete a task they receive a number of gold dubloons. Now is it just me or does this say to kids “you will be financially rewarded for doing things”?! I have had more than a few occasions where I have had to explain to the kids that no, I wont give them 4 gold dubloons (£4 to you and I) just because they’ve put their plate in the kitchen or their rubbish in the bin!
2. Magical array of weapons/items (1) The Whirlyhook
I have labelled this as number one because this is a constant problem for me. I have picked the two most annoying and difficult ones for this list though. I totally get that cartoons are fantasy, but if you show key characters using certain weapons or items then it stands to reason that kids are going to want to own those items also. Disney bought out a range of “hooks” that could be attached to a plastic cuff type thing so a child could pretend to be Captain Hook. It featured a net hook, a plastic traditional hook, and a cannon type hook that fired little foam balls. Fantastic you think. Except they also have an episode with Captain Hook using a hook with a little propeller built into it to pull him up into the air, and THAT is the hook my 4yr old son wants. I have tried copious times to explain that they don’t make one, and even if they did make one it wouldn’t be strong enough to actually make him fly. The disappointment on his face was clear and then a little bit of the magic was gone. He still isn’t entirely convinced though and sometimes tells me I am only saying its not real because I am mean and wont buy him one!
3. Magical array of weapons/items (2) The Invisibility Ring
Well I’m sure I don’t need to explain what the invisibility ring is or does. As before my son wants one, and cannot understand why there would be something on tv that isn’t real and isn’t available to be bought for him.
4. J&NLP Talking Telescope
One of the most annoying toys my son has received to date. The “off” switch seems to have no bearing on the fact that the slightest creak of a floorboard can cause a loud “ahoy there matey” from Jake. Predictably this usually happens in the middle of the night and said telescope is buried at the bottom of the toybox at the very back of the huge pile of toys under my sons mid-sleeper bed.
5. The Valley of the Lost
It sounds a lot creepier than it really is. In one particular episode of J&NLP the characters head to the “Valley of the Lost” to look for Cubby’s map. My son is totally convinced that there is a Valley of the Lost in England and that is where all his old toys have gone. I’m not sure how to break it to him that our “Valley of the Lost” is otherwise known as “the bin” or “the bootfair”! He is currently suggesting that we take a trip there in half term to go and find the last 4 years worth of toys and games!
I love that kids tv is so imaginative, but it makes it very difficult when I have a child that wants to visit/use/have the non-existent products of this amazing imagination!!