My salad dressing days

Surrealism in broadcasting for the under-4s
September 20, 2005, 9:54 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Case study: Yoho Ahoy

Background information: Yoho Ahoy is an animated feature about a pirate ship in which the characters say only ‘Yoho’ or ‘Ahoy’. (I Kid You Not.)

Sample storyline: Grog cooks pizza for the crew. Swab and Bilge are happy but Cutlass wants fish. She tries to catch one but has no luck. Grog finds a solution by making a fish shaped pizza, which he attaches to Cutlass’s fishing line. She hauls in the pizza fish and eats it with relish.

What the BBC says:

Animated puppets are used effectively within an entertaining pirate saga set aboard The Rubber Duck. The story lines are simple and easy to follow. [ALWAYS BEST TO USE PUPPETS EFFECTIVELY, I FIND. NOTHING WORSE THAN PUPPETS BEING USED INEFFECTIVELY.]

Yoho Ahoy is fascinating to young children because the characters are essentially toddlers with the same approach to the world – constantly making discoveries and showing awe and wonder at new experiences. The stories and humour are conveyed through visual and physical expression. [THEY WOULD HAVE TO BE GIVEN THE SEVERELY LIMITED LANGUAGE ABILITIES OF THE CHARACTERS.]

Adults might like to offer some additional explanation in order to help develop a greater sense of the storyline and an appreciation of each of the characters. [ADULTS MIGHT LIKE TO BE GIVEN SOME ADDITIONAL EXPLANATION OF THE STORYLINES BEFORE ATTEMPTING THIS.]

What UC says:

This programme is very weird and borders on the surreal. Best stick to Teletubbies.

Coming soon: racial stereotyping and ethnic representation in ‘Balamory’ and ‘Storymakers’.


15 Comments so far
Leave a comment

but teletubbies are the weirdest of all – don’t try and tell me hallucinogenics weren’t involved when storyboarding that one….so, we’ll have them living in a sort of utopian pasture with rabbits, and the sun will have a baby’s face, and ooh, look! alan’s melting!

Comment by surly girl

Perhaps weird is better than perverse. Don’t forget the days of Captain Pugwash who although may have had linear story lines did include the infamous characters – Seaman Stanes, Master Bates, and Roger the cabin boy… (sorry, but if you launch a post on children’s TV, they were bound to come up)

Comment by Mark

no no no, that’s an urban myth….

Comment by surly girl

If you’re going for surreal, it may as well be classic surreal; I’m always a fan of the Magic Roundabout, for whatever age group.

Comment by Hannah

Re: Pugwash. Not only an urban myth, but the writers at one stage launched legal action against a newspaper that repeated it as fact.
Even so, children’s TV is where the eccentric geniuses (genii?) of any age ply their trade. Mr. Ben? Bill and Ben? Bagpuss? Jamie (and Magic Torch)? Chorlton and the Wheelies? All either wonderful or intensely annoying.

Comment by Stef the engineer

I hate Yoho Ahoy. There’s a hell of a lot of dated filler dross on CBeebies and that’s one of the worst offenders. In our house we like the funky dancing of The Backyardigans on Nick Junior.

Comment by Wyndham

Yeah, because Teletubbies are so ‘normal’. 🙂

Thank goodness we’ve moved past this stage.

Now it Sponge Bob Square Pants, another incredibly weird show that the kids love.

Comment by Kyahgirl


Comment by Aginoth


Comment by surly girl

SG: you beat me to it!

and whadya mean about teletubbies? i’ve seen their little grass dome house whilst on a walk in rural oxfordshire…

Comment by Urban Chick

yes, but did you see big brown rabbits and four little, brightly coloured foam creatures running around?

Comment by Kyahgirl

i bet you were shitfaced tho, weren’t you?

Comment by surly girl

That’s what I was thinking but didn’t want to say 🙂

That gin will do it every time LOL.

Comment by Kyahgirl

Well…I LIKE Yoho Ahoy. And Rubberdubbers! Closest thing to Morph these days!! Remember Chas? He was always getting squashed!! Hahaha!!…….sorry, I’ll get me coat!

Comment by idelap

I like Yoho..
It makes me laugh on saturday morning while trying to get round to make breakfast for children after a friday night out ( yes, it does happen).
But the weirdest of all…is Gimme Gimme Octopus ( japanese kids show which is in Japanese ..never too early to learn!) .The stars of each film are Gimme Gimme Octopus, a bright red and wide-eyed being who lives in a treehouse, and his pear pal Chombo, who is literally a giant pear with arms, legs and a face. This duo has a knack for stirring up trouble and inflicting chaos on everyone who comes in their way.
Gimme Gimme and Chombo have a particular dislike for a trio of cucumber monsters who carry around picnic baskets full of food. In one episode, Gimme Gimme disguises himself as a fellow monster and steals their picnic baskets. The monsters track him down while he is midway through consuming their food and force the octopus to regurgitate what he’s already swallowed! Nice…

Comment by Alexa

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