My son (aged 10) has since his earliest memory held a passionate loathing for the British children’s television programme Thomas the Tank Engine. Something about those round-cheeked faces, with their limited emotive palettes and ventriloquial eyeballs, embedded into the fronts of locomotives awakens something like primal hate.
Thomas (second from right) and Friends
On the TV this morning, an ad appeared for the Thomas show, prompting the following exchange.
Papa (teasing): Hey, Seiji, what is your favorite Thomas episode?
Seiji (fake spitting): The one where he dies in a mountain explosion.
Oddly, my son loves (or rather loved until he outgrew it) another British production called Noddy in Toyland, which in my view has, because of its similarly overwrought characterizations and creepy facial stylings, equal potential for loathing.*
Noddy in Toyland
*None of the above is intended to disparage the talented artists and technicians who make these fine, if ineffably disturbing, works of children’s entertainment.
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