Monday, 7 February 2011
There's bit a lot of whoo-haa about the new children's animated show that launched in the UK several days ago, called 'Rastamouse'.
The show airs on CBeebies - the show seems to be a hit with the kids and then there's been a bit of a mixbag reaction from the concerning adults about racism and cultralism, etc
Rastamouse originally started as a children's book, were written written in rhyme with a Caribbean accent, by Genevieve Webster (an author and illustrator) and Michael De Souza, a Rastafari swimming instructor!
The show features an all-mouse Reggae band named "Rastamouse and Da Easy Crew" who also indulge in crime fighting (a bit like Batman... more like 'Josie & The Pussycats'). The stories show how people can get on and solve problems, such as those who commit crimes show remorse and explain why they did what they did, and promise not to do it again, then all can be 'easy' again.
Just because Rastamouse wears a Rasta hat, sports dreadlocks and has a Jamaican accent (voiced by Reggie Yates, a current Radio 1 DJ and actor/presenter), there's nothing racist about it!
I think, we as a 'second' generation (I think that's what we are) growing up in the western world aren't exactly used to seeing other cultures portrayed so freely on our TV screens - we grew up with the likes of 'He-man', 'Sherah', 'Postman Pat', 'Fireman Sam', 'Family Ness', 'Penny Crayon', etc... you get the drift, and it has probably thrown a few people off a bit.
We can't be outraged at the fact that there is an entire show teaching children the diversities of culture around us, with good values that teaches kids the difference between right and wrong, especially since many people would be outraged at the fact that in living in the 21st century, in this 'day and age' that we didn't have one before!
This may even spawn a TV series about 'Femi the Nigerian Jungle Cat' or 'Fei Ying the Chinese Panda'... the animated world is our oyster!!!