Huldra Forsvant (Theodor Kittelsen)

Huldra Forsvant (Theodor Kittelsen)
Huldra Forsvant (Theodor Kittelsen)

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Rift

If you have littl'uns, you'll be familiar with Jimmy Giggle and his owl mate, Hoot.  For me, children's television is mostly an exercise in pain, but these two bring me a surprising amount of joy.  I like them, and their friendship warms my cockles. Most male presenters of kid's shows are sappy and annoying, but Jimmy just seems like a good sort of guy. And Hoot, well what can you say about the lovable owl. He's lovable.

So, all was well. Until recently.  Enter Hootabelle..

Now, I don't want to start a smear campaign, really I don't. I have nothing against her personally- she's probably a genuine and kindhearted owl.  But for me, she is mucking with my beloved duo, creating a potential rift in the dynamic.  You can see already how Hoot's loyalty has become divided, he's off his game a bit, distracted by the whole bromance vs. owl-pal issue.

Not wanting to tear her down too much, but I don't get Hootabelle. Why did the need arise for her to join the party? And what's with that voice?  Hoot has a lovable little squeaky cartoon voice, whereas Hootabelle sounds like a 40 year old ABC news presenter. It doesn't add up.

I don't want to be too dramatic, but essentially, Giggle is Paul, Hoot is John, and Hootabelle is Yoko.  And we all know how that story ended.

15 comments:

pedro said...

I'm with you bro.
Leave Yoko at home. She iss already the bringer of change and nothing needed to be changed.
Her voice is abbey tucker I think. She is 40 and a little drag queeny these days...
Go away Hootabelle.

One for a wish.. said...

Yep, totally agree. So don't get Hootabelle's voice or the actual need for her existence. Is it just a marketing strategy??

Ben McLaughlin said...

I'm glad you guys agree. I was surprised to learn that it's Abbey Tucker. I wouldn't have guessed that.

I reckon it was a marketing strategy, I guess to attract little girl viewers. But it seems unneccessary. My little girls loved them, male or not.

pedro said...

I personally think it was a step towards another whole branch of merchandising. Lots of blue stuff 9for the boys obviously) and they needed to identify with the girls and sell them lots of pink stuff! We have a friend who works in the ABC and she says its becoming a gold mine.

Karen said...

With Pedro & oneforawish here. My theory about Hootabelle was that she was designed for the female toddler market. So that ABC shops can market the girly owl toy and assorted paraphernalia to all the little girls who watch ABC Kids.
My daughter hasn't shown too much interest in Hootabelle, to be honest. I agree she's unnecessary.
Imagine the outcry if you guys just decided all of a sudden to add a third banana to the gang....

Belle said...

HAHAHAHAHAHA! I completely agree - the bit about Hootabelle's voice particularly made me laugh! She does seem a little superfluous; Giggle and Hoot are great on their own.

Christine said...

yep agree also, the voice is wrong, the need for her is questionable. But I do love jimmy and hoot :) they make me laugh too

KIM said...

I don't know Jimmy nor Hoot, but they sound adorable. Best TV kids' show present ever -- Fred Rogers, hands down. Google him if you've never seen Mister Roger's Neighborhood. He was awesome. He was actually an ordained minister, though a lot of people who watched his show had no idea. Seriously the best ever.

A distant second would be Lavar Burton on Reading Rainbow.

Stuart Heath said...

Well, seems like I'm alone on this, but I'd actually been hoping that Hootabelle would take over full time from Giggle and Hoot. Their voices make me want to put a screwdriver in my ear.

Ben McLaughlin said...

Pedro and Karen- oh of course.. the merch!

Belle- TOTALLY superfluous.

Christine- Nice to hear from you! Hope you guys are keeping well.

Kim- I've often heard Mr Rogers referred to, but have never seen him in action.. I'll look him up

Stuart- We've disagreed about a few things over the years, but this is clearly the biggest and most concerning.

MattSykes said...

With you Ben! Wings just don't do it for me, even with "Live and let die" on their discography.

Ben McLaughlin said...

Ok hold up Matt. You're not going to sneak that one by me. Yoko and Linda are two very different kettles of fish. I loved Linda McCartney. I love Wings. If Hootabelle was Linda-esque rather than Yoko-esque, I'd be welcoming her with open arms.

The Beatles were cool, Wings are kinda daggy. But if you get past that fact and embrace it, you'll experience some profound joy.

Andrew said...

I am a big fan of Giggle and Hoot. Perhaps not so much as to set up a fan page for Jimmy Giggle (which has been done by a bunch of mum's who find something particularly nice about Jimmy) but I am really worried about the influence Hootabelle could have on the duo.

Why mess with something that is working? To continue the analogy, it would be like introducing a third to Roy and HG or Hamish and Andy. Is it because it is a kids' show?

Stuart Heath said...

Hootabelle sabotage?
http://about.abc.net.au/press-releases/abc-recalls-toy/

theboywizard said...

My take on all this is somewhat different, but think I might have an over-active imagination so am starting to rethink...! But I was under the impression that Hootabelle was in fact a reprised version of Skeletor from the old He Man series? I'm sure I saw her eyes turn red at one point and her head turn into a skull. If you look carefully at the windows in the background of the set you can clearly see castle greyskull smoking in the background, and you can catch hootabelle peering wistfully at it at points. Also during the starlight flying song ("hey hoot my friend" ... etc) as they swoop through the streets you catch a glimpse of Battlecat leaping from one of the buildings in a brave kamikaze attempt to take her down, sadly his timing is well out.

My belief was that skeletor has been relaxing in australia with his family since the decomissioning of the masters of the universe franchise, but has recently been suffering from paranoid delusions that he man had returned in the form of jimmy giggle. The comparisons are obvious I suppose... But he has set about an elaborate strategy of revenge up to and including integrating himself on set in the form of hoots grandma hootabelle.

As I said, happy to be persuaded otherwise, but this is the most likely scenario from the evidence I currently have.