Just been watching “Lazy Town” on CBeebies with my (mesmerised) daughters (3). I reckon it should be called “Crazy Town” since, erm, everyone’s just crazy there.
It’s visually a real treat: imagine a cartoon meets real actors meets sponge sets and puppets. Hmm – put like that it does sound weird. Primary and pastel colours, plastic masks, music-hall piano and “ta-daaaa” sound effects and that goodie-goodie moral “reveal” in the story telling… Sigh.
The main character is Sportacus (!) who’s erm sporty. There’s a nice kid Stephanie who’s nice and a traditional baddie (like Dick Dastardly) called, helpfully, Robbie Rotten. The rest are puppets. The plot each time is: Robbie dresses up and does something naughty. Stephanie is suspicious but nice, everyone else is gullible and shallow. Sportacus is nice, dim, well-meaning but fit. He bumbles his way to ‘victory’, helped sometimes by the innate non-nastiness of the populace of the town.
So far, so boring. What saves this show is that it’s got great dance routines (yes, I AM sad!), good filming (think “Delicatessen” for kids) and it’s just sweet.
I was pleased therefore to find out that it’s Icelandic. Huzzah. That explains the ‘unique’ take on life. The creator saith:
The philosophy of Lazy Town is
to motivate children and inspire them to live a healthy life.
The creator of Lazy Town, Magnus Scheving, also plays
one of the leading roles, athletic, super-fit super-hero
Sporticus. This children’s programme has received wide
acclaim in the United States.
Sigh – if only life were like this!
Fast Company has an article on it (thanks, Google!):
It really shouldn’t work: a 41-year-old Icelander in a blue spandex unitard, with a waxed Dali mustache, floppy cap, and goggles, doing one-handed push-ups, high kicks, and backflips to convince kids that exercise is cool. …
In a (healthy) nutshell, each show is a 30-minute tale of sporting Sportacus outfoxing the slothful villain Robbie Rotten and encouraging LazyTown’s young couch potatoes to swap their PS2s for outdoor pursuits and fresh vegetables. The pink-haired heroine Stephanie interrupts the action with bubblegum-pop music.
More info on Wikipedia.
That my girls are currently glued to the telly rather undermines the hope (the medium kills the message in this case).
Right – enough typing: there’s a dance/pop routine on: “if you believe there is always a way (always a way”, “gorra believe it, gorra believe it, gorra believe in yerrself”)”. Just going to drop onto the sofa with the girls and get motivated. I believe it!