Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Sid the Science Kid

Usually I try to get a certain level of understanding of a show before I condemn it entirely, which means I at least have to watch a full episode or two of it first. Nevertheless, I feel that I can pretty confidently say, without much context, that there is a special place in Hell reserved for Sid the Science Kid.

Before you swoop down on me to contest that, I kindly invite you to watch the following clip with the sound off:
That is how I first saw it.
See, at the office where BFF Beth used to work as a receptionist, there was always a TV tuned to that station in the lobby with the sound off. When I came to bug her at work after class, it was usually during the time that Sid the Science Kid was on. There are no words for the terror that crept over my soul when I saw these toothless, malformed abominations bouncing around the screen like hyperactive gremlins with jaundice.

That was all I needed to see to know that this monstrosity should not be. And I hadn't even seen Sid's father yet...
...The bell-bottomed Raggedy Andy off to the left there... His head looks like a mask a serial killer would wear.

Then I found out it was made by Jim Henson Studios...
Wait... seriously?


No... it's okay, guys. Don't cry. I'm not angry at you... Just... go to your room and think about what you've done for a while.

Yes, that is almost undoubtedly what happened here. You can tell by the hair and the noses. The folks over at Henson Studios felt like they were getting left behind and decided to delve into animation like everybody else. Problem being, they've done nothing but muppets for so long that they have no concept of how to design anything different. The results are just as disastrous as one might expect. muppets are only cute in their original form. They've dabbled in animation before with things like Muppet Babies, and it was weird, but not creepy. Muppets animated in 3D are nothing BUT creepy. They look too much like the puppets that the studio is so fantastic at creating, but they also move by themselves, and you can see their feet. The effect we get is something akin to if aliens who wanted to infiltrate human society were trying to piece together disguises by watching episodes of Sesame Street. Muppets are weird looking, but we're willing to accept that because they're funny and we know there are people underneath them controlling their movements. Seeing them in full body, stringless motion just seems to trigger something in the human brain that says "I am no longer okay with this."

Okay, got that over with. Now go back and turn the sound on. Go ahead, I'll wait here...

...So, did you ever notice how muppets are funny, but whenever something that's not a muppet tries to act like one, it's really really annoying? Yeah. That.

Anyway, I'm sure it's a very well thought out and educational show, because I trust Jim Henson Studios (after all, they are still running their little Muppet show YouTube page, and the awesome is vast and never-ending,) but if they want to pull me away from crying in the corner for long enough to actually find out, they're going to have to turn it back into a puppet show. Until then, I will vehemently hold my position that Sid the Science kid needs to be scourged with fire.

Burn them! Burn them all! Get them before they get us!


BethSam said...

*shudder* No comment needed. You forgot to tell them to watch it with dramatic classical music in the background! Key point.

"rednefir". I think it's a creature of some sort.

Jessica Grosland said...

Oddly enough, I actually LIKE Sid the Science Kid. In a slightly-annoying-little-kid-show sort of way. But I like that spunky kid, and the animation doesn't faze me too much.

Plus, I like the song he sings when his mom is driving him to school. I can tell why it would seem creepy, but I can't stop liking it AND I JUST DON'T KNOW WHY.


(Oh, maybe it's because I was totally the kid who wanted to know everything, and who made up stupid songs to narrate what was going on a the moment...)

Meg said...

It is truly the stuff of nightmares. I had a thought the first time I saw it, but I don't quite remember what it was. Perhaps something about the uncanny valley.

WV: ouseles

misssrobin said...

I kind of like it in the same way Jess does. Maybe that's because I had a kid in my house who wanted to know everything and sang/narrated everything she did.

The Erin said...

Definitely something Uncanny-valley-ish about it, Meg. Not really sure why; I mean they look cartoonish enough, but perhaps it's because they're too far along the line to being human because they are sentient puppets... Who knows?