Sunday, June 22, 2008

Dottie's Magic Pockets/Buddy G

Frameline pulled together a program of "family"-friendly family-friendly television: in other words, children's shows that validate and celebrate families with same-sex parents.

What happens when a stay-at-home lesbian mom sprinkles some enchanted glitter around her lonely living room while her partner and son are off to work and school? She gets to sing and play with her new magic friends, learning about life and the world. I'm past my second childhood, not yet into my third, and I don't have kids in my life right now, so take my perspective with a grain of salt; that said, I didn't find it engaging, and the kids in the audience seemed at best tepid in their response. The flower has an annoying faux-Frahnsh accent, and a song about being yourself carried an undertone of "don't try to be something different" that would be a terribly negative reinforcement for internalized transphobia, for a couple of examples. I think I'd flip channels to watch a re-run of Mister Rogers. Then again, it's still better than a lot of the junk television out there, particularly stuff with a much more blatantly heterocentrist worldview. No recommendation.

Buddy G is aimed at a slightly older audience, roughly kindergarten. Buddy lives with his two moms, having friends over for backyard adventures in his treehouse. The 3-D computer animation is reasonably well done, and the characters have some depth, too. In this sample episode, Buddy loses one of his moms' rings, and the whole family gets in on the search, assisted by Buddy's armband computer Socrates. It's cute and well presented; Recommended

"Dottie's Magic Pockets" (shorts program)

Dottie's Magic Pockets, episode: "Doing the Flower," dir. Andrea Maxwell, 2007 USA 23 min.
Dottie's Magic Pockets, episode: "Beat Beet," dir. Andrea Maxwell, 2007 USA 23 min.
Dottie's Magic Pockets official website
Buddy G, My Two Moms and Me, episode: "Lost Rings," dir. Margaux Towne-Colley, 2007 USA 11 min.
Buddy G official website

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