The latest kids' show to be called into question is Nickelodeon's long-running cartoon series, 'SpongeBob SquarePants.' According to The Wrap, a study due to be published online Monday by the journal 'Pediatrics' found that watching just nine minutes of 'SpongeBob' had a negative effect on four-year-olds' attention spans.
Nickelodeon questioned the validity of the findings, criticizing the small size of the control group and pointing to the fact that 'SpongeBob' is targeted at children aged six to eleven, not four.
That said, speaking theoretically, if kids did drop a soaked sugar cube or six, they would see visions potentially less bizarre than what they take in during an episode of Yo Gabba Gabba(!). The Nick, Jr. and Noggin show is back this week with new episodes for fascinated children and really high adults.
A lot of kids love it. It's colorful, kinetic, and everybody involved keeps a smile on their face -- even the bizarre anthropomorphized, toys-turned-life size characters -- Muno (red cyclops), Foofa (pinkish bow thing), Brobee (the green monster with no elbows) ), Toodee (the blue cat) and Plex (the yellow, 50s-ish robot).
Moona. Foofa. Brobee. Toodee. Plex.
Either I'm typing in tongues or those are the names of some characters from the upcoming Nick Jr. series Yo Gabba Gabba!, a series I keep accidentally referring to as "Gabba Gabba Hey!" (curse you, Ramones!). Moona, Foofa, Brobee, Toodee and Plex are a cyclops, a pink flower bubble, a green something-or-other, a cat-dragon and a robot, respectively. Just the names and the descriptions of the characters has the preschool part of my brain excited to see what the shows is all about.
Yo Gabba Gabba! will be hosted by DJ Lance Rock and also feature special guests and animated segments. Based on the promo video, it looks like an eclectic mix of Electric Company-style retro and funky music mixed with the bright colors and simplicity of Teletubbies. You'll probably find it annoying, but if you have little kids, they'll probably love it. And yes, I do believe that is Biz Markie making an appearance in the promo.
The series hits Nick Jr. this fall.
Late last night my son, Everett, a huge Dora the Explorer fan, woke up and was begging for his "show." I surfed to Comcast's On Demand and discovered, entirely by accident, that Dora's cousin Diego was premiering his new series. While Go Diego Go won't be in the Nick Jr. lineup until September 7, it's available now to lucky Video on Demand subscribers everywhere. The preview episode, in which a mommy and baby sloth was saved, sets a very Dora-like tone. However, this show is clearly targeted at the preschool boy demographic. (Which riles me a bit, but whatever.) Interesting trivia: Rosie Perez voices "Click," the Diego equivalent of Dora's map.
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