Friday, September 02, 2011

Saturday Morning Review: Sigmund and the Sea Monsters - Season One DVD

Talking about friends, friends, friends...

It's oft been said that today's kids demand more from their entertainment.  This usually comes from producers and promoters, and all the others who profit from children's' entertainment... as well as the parents who consume it.  They would have us all believe that our little Dakotas and Skylars and Hunters would never be caught watching the stuff we used to watch, because it's so simple and booooring. Truth be told, kids are gonna watch what ever catches their eye, be it a black and white cartoon of Popeye, a Punch and Judy puppet show, or a flip book cartoon.  And truth be told, it's the parents who are demanding more from their kid's entertainment.  They want to see stuff in the programming that they can relate to, or that makes them laugh.  And the producers are all too obliging, because they know who's buying the stuff --it's the parents, not the kids.

I like to prove the theory of theirs wrong.  I regularly my li'l Pop Cereal flakes with a good dose of retro kid fun.  And truth be told... they love it.  Sure they love their My Little Pony and their Little Bear and Yo Gabba Gabba.  They also love them some Groovie Goolies, and Double Deckers.  And now their latest demand is for more Sigmund and the Sea Monsters.
Whattaya mean I can't watch Hannah Montana!

Sigmund and the Sea Monsters was an early 1970s gem from those boys of Saturday Morning weirdness Sid & Marty Kroftt. It told the story of a young sea monster named Sigmund Ooze (played by the legendary Billy Barty), who ran away from his cave, because his family disowned him for not being mean enough.  He befriends two California boys, Johnny and Scott (Johnny Whitaker and Scott Kolden), who he attempts to scare as they play out on the beach.  The boys hide Sigmund in their cool backyard clubhouse, not only from their nosy housekeeper Zelda (the fabulous Mary Wikes), but from the dysfunctional Ooze family.  It seems that every time Sigmund's family get themselves into a bind, Big Daddy and Sweet Momma send out their remaining bumbling boys, Blurp and Slurp, to go fetch Sigmund to help straighten it all out. 
Has Selena Gomez gotten a good look at my hair do?

The stories are simple and the dialogue is fun and unoffensive. The adventures are straight forward and loaded with silly slapstick action.  A lot of the acting is corny, but that was the style of the Saturday morning program back in that era.  It was all just plain fun.  However, there was the right amount of cultural referencing to make it contemporary.  Like Big Daddy's parodying Archie Bunker with the voice and mannerisms -- and a good ol' Stifle it!" every so often.  The comic action is absolute fun for the kids, and there are little tidbits of frights every so often, to make it exciting. 
Zelda's cooking seafood tonight.  Better hide!

All this simple fun has made this DVD set a "demand" for my kids.  They ask to watch it several times a week.  They make up their own li'l Sigmund toys to play with, alongside their store bought Little Pony's, and they've even announced that they'll be Sigmund for Halloween (but then again, they've changed costume ideas like five times since). 

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