April 22, 2003 12:20 PM   Subscribe

Boohbah! According to this thread it's TV turn-off week, but just imagine some aliens kidnapped a Teletubby, pumped it full of ecstasy, acid and marijuana, forced it to play Rez for eight hours straight and then sent it to bed and somehow watched its dreams. I can personally assure you the result would be absolutely nowhere near as demented as Boohbah, a new children's TV show from Anne Wood, creator of the afforementioned Teletubbies. Boohbah's quite possibly the most surreal thing I've ever seen, which had me in turns laughing out loud and almost in tears at the sheer beauty of the whole thing. It'll probably be crossing the Atlantic soon, and I'm beginning to suspect that kids' TV is a hell of a lot better than the stuff made for adults.
posted by hnnrs (35 comments total)
I figure Anne's got the inside track on what goes on in a baby's mind. Go visit IUsedToBelieve dot com and rediscover all the weird ideas children have about the world... and then try to imagine just how bizarro the world must be to babies.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:29 PM on April 22, 2003

That was fun
posted by monkeyman at 12:34 PM on April 22, 2003

Teletubbies was criticised by some for using childish language - if this website is anything to go by, Boohbah is dropping language completely. That probably helps them sell it to more countries.

The site makes great use of compact Flash - it seems to load the whole thing in one go and there are loads of different activities - it will keep me amused for hours. Why do children's programmes always seem to be more drug-inspired than adult's?
posted by jamespake at 12:37 PM on April 22, 2003

Do join us more often, hnnrs--that was lovely!
posted by hippugeek at 12:42 PM on April 22, 2003

completely hypnotic web site. My favorite part is the dancing Boobahs. But now my brain hurts.
posted by archimago at 12:52 PM on April 22, 2003

Is it me or those dancing boobahs are reminiscent of a certain sexual organ when they glide their skin over their head?
posted by kush at 12:59 PM on April 22, 2003

Parts of it remind me of KeyWhack, an old mac program for toddlers that never ceased to capture my attention.
posted by gluechunk at 1:10 PM on April 22, 2003

So kush this is a like a repressed sorta gay thing like the TTs ? Except more vibrant.
posted by johnny7 at 1:10 PM on April 22, 2003

I am so going to remix that. Stay tuned on the music page. =P
posted by iamck at 1:25 PM on April 22, 2003

jamespake: Boohbah did have occasional narration, I'm fairly certain it was done by the same person who did the voiceover for the equally brilliant Look Around You (a spoof science series). I'm guessing the V/O can be translated into loads of different languages.
posted by hnnrs at 1:27 PM on April 22, 2003

Wow, I could lose hours of my life to this site. Why is it, though, that it reminds me a bit of Yellow Submarine? Maybe I was just too young when I saw it.
posted by greengrl at 1:27 PM on April 22, 2003

Yellow Submarine, that is... It's been a long day.
posted by greengrl at 1:29 PM on April 22, 2003

Here's another good piece on the TV show. Looks like fun - I hope it pops up on Kazaa.
posted by Pinwheel at 1:31 PM on April 22, 2003

I am the king of the apple catchers, and I make a pretty mean Boobah herder as well.

As to why children's programmes seem more drug-inspired than adults, surely it's because children have such a tiny frame of reference that most sensations seem like the sort that adults require drugs for. Who needs ecstacy when you've never seen a multi-coloured ball before in your life? Talk about a rush!
posted by MUD at 1:32 PM on April 22, 2003

more fun.

thanks for the link :)
posted by specialk420 at 2:07 PM on April 22, 2003

Children's prgrammes and drugs? Part of the effect of good drugs is that they disable your perceptual filters. Children haven't learnt to filter out "unimportant" or "useless" sense data or artifacts in their brain. Eg, as child I could stare at regular patterns on wallpaper and make the patterns wriggle and dance - in fact I still can if I put my mind in the right space.

Programmes that successfully recreate the sensory experience of a child are also recreating unfiltered perception.

Look around the room. Isn't it full of really neat colours and shapes? Mine is. But without drugs to slow you up and remind you about your raw senses, you don't usually pay attention.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 2:20 PM on April 22, 2003

Look around the room. Isn't it full of really neat colours and shapes?
Is THAT why most offices are so boringly square and grey!
posted by wendell at 2:48 PM on April 22, 2003

Man, that's one of the craziest websites I've ever seen... it's wonderful! It really, really makes me want to see the show, I mean if that's the website... what's the show like?

I hope this comes stateside, because that is just beautiful, wonderful, and completely bizarre.
posted by mosch at 2:56 PM on April 22, 2003

Yep. That's just about the craziest site I've even seen.
posted by dogwalker at 3:08 PM on April 22, 2003

I'm scared.
posted by wrench at 3:48 PM on April 22, 2003

Cool site, the sound effects are great too, you can use your mouse to make some cool Gary Numan style patterns.
posted by cell divide at 3:58 PM on April 22, 2003

The Teletubbies sort of shocked me - due to their repetitive video and other segments [AGAIN!!!]... plus the tv's in their chest cavities. But this... This is almost mystic in execution. Is the show this good?

I remember watching Pinwheel and 3-2-1 contact, but nothing anywhere near the glorious psychedelia kids are exposed to these days. I wonder how they'll grow up?
posted by phylum sinter at 5:03 PM on April 22, 2003

I don't know if we should be teaching our kids that the world is one big acid trip.

I think that web site was trying to control my mind.
posted by Dasein at 5:09 PM on April 22, 2003

I don't know if we should be teaching our kids that the world is one big acid trip.

No teaching of that nature involved - to kids, the world is that way anyway.
posted by biscotti at 5:26 PM on April 22, 2003

Hate to keep going on about it, but the TV show is even better than the website, just because the Boohbahs do really random things. Actually, I think they just dance a lot. But in random ways. They live in what look like giant furry soup spoons, too.

Thinking about it, wouldn't 24 be soo much better if Kiefer Sutherland slept in a giant furry spoon and randomly danced about the place every now and then? In fact, wouldn't the whole world be a better place if we all slept in spoons and danced about the place every now and then? I think I've seen the future...
posted by hnnrs at 5:36 PM on April 22, 2003

Hate to keep going on about it, but the TV show is even better than the website, just because the Boohbahs do really random things. Actually, I think they just dance a lot. But in random ways. They live in what look like giant furry soup spoons, too.

BUT WHAT IF IT'S NOT RANDOM AT ALL? I mean, the Teletubbies seemed to have some sort of sinister undertone [no, i'm not talking about the controversy of a gay 'Tinky Winky' back in 1999, either]. This program seems like it could be hiding something very unsavory as well. I'll be watching it if it comes here though... you know, just to make sure.

If 24 had a giant furry spoon in it I'd watch it. As is, it's just boring.
posted by phylum sinter at 8:13 PM on April 22, 2003

Great link. I love childrens shows, everything from Teletubbies to Elmo...yet another reason to procreate!
posted by ParisParamus at 8:44 PM on April 22, 2003

I wonder how they'll grow up?

"I mean, if PacMan affected us as kids, we'd all be running around in darkened rooms, munching pills and listening to repetitive music!"
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 9:50 PM on April 22, 2003

If you've ever watched Teletubbies with a small child, you'll realise how wonderful it is. There's something in it whatever the age - below one year, they love the bright colours and the funny characters. As they get a bit older, they learn the names, start to interact with them, enjoy the running around and the inserts (has anyone else seen the 'I'm the bear, I'm the bear, with the brown fuzzy hair' or the Little Bo Peep segments? I have - many, many times. They are little pieces of genius).

I've not seen Boohbah yet, but I'm looking forward to it. Try RubbaDubbers, too - download the trailer (Windows Media / Real Player) and listen to the theme song. It'll be in your head all day. Wonderful fun.

Splish, Splash, Splosh!
posted by humuhumu at 1:55 AM on April 23, 2003

I was at an outdoor dance party on New Years Day a few years ago and I was dancing next to a member of the Wiggles. Seriously. He looked like he was having lots of fun...
posted by Onanist at 3:39 AM on April 23, 2003

Oh, Onanist, which one?? I am a SAHM (yeah, yeah) and I've watched every Wiggles tape like a thousand times and believe me, after a long day with toddlers, a tall guy in a skivvy shirt can start to look pretty good.

Unfortunately my daughter's current obsession is with shows that involve Elmo, who offers no such distraction. Sigh. Boobah looks like it might be a real winner, though. What a pretty, pretty site.
posted by jfwlucy at 9:03 AM on April 23, 2003

My toddler stepdaughter (turning 3 in August) was fascinated by the website, and came running across the room to see what it was. Personally, I was disturbed by the forms of the Boohbahs themselves-- they look to me like deformed and detached sets of male genitalia, with the head of a phallus surrounded by a hugely swollen and hairless testicle. Gah!

But, I must say I do prefer the surreal weirdness of Teletubbies-like shows to the treaclieness and maddeningly slow pace of shows like "Max and Ruby" and "Oswald". Max and Ruby bugs me in particular. Ruby, an anthropomorphic rabbit girl, is supposed to be 7 years old. But for some reason, she is solely in charge of her little brother, and no parents or guardians are in evidence. They have a grandmother, but she does not live with them. Her friend's mothers even have her babysit! Not only that, Ruby has infinite patience with Max's constant bad behavior, and he never even gets so much as a time out! The whole thing just makes no sense to me. Is it supposed to be teaching kids that you should just act bad all the time, and not only will you not get punished and no one will get mad at you, but everyone will think it's cute?

"Oswald" has a bizarre penguin character that is anal-retentive and obsessive-compulsive, not to mention voiced by "Sqiuggy". Although the point is usually to show that the neurotic penguin enjoys himself more if he doesn't insist on things being "just so", it's still pretty freaky to watch. Not to mention the song stylings of Fred Savage... (shudder).

Lately, I've been encouraging the toddler to watch Miyazaki movies, since I enjoy them as well.
posted by CoFenchurch at 9:24 AM on April 23, 2003

jfwlucy, I believe it was Jeff. He was there with a well-known local music industry / media personality guy who is gay. Jeff wasn't wearing a skivvy though...
posted by Onanist at 9:27 AM on April 23, 2003

Thanks, Onanist. Jeff is probably the one I fancy least, so I'll subside into mild apathy again. I just read that Anthony Wiggle is engaged to be married very soon, so that will be all of them forever beyond my reach . . . tant pis

Maybe Elmo will come out with a video featuring cute football players.
posted by jfwlucy at 10:09 AM on April 23, 2003

*dances off to buy a king-size furry spoon*
posted by jamespake at 2:39 PM on April 23, 2003

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