Paramount // 2005 // 60 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // March 22nd, 2006
The Boohbahs are tormenting my dreams.
Boohbah is the latest creation of "Ragdoll," the kids-oriented production studio responsible for siccing the Teletubbies on an unsuspecting civilization. I remember when I first laid eyes on Tinky-Winky and the rest of the crew -- I was mesmerized by the sheer weirdness of the program. Since then, the baby-head sun and the talking flowers have become common place in our pop culture.
But now comes the newest little kids phenom, and, brothers and sisters, Boohbah has recaptured that original dose of the surreal that I first was smacked with way back when. Apparently, the Teletubbies make too much sense and weren't trippy enough, so here we have a new breed of creature to torch your children's reitnas.
There are five "Boohbahs": Humbah, Jumbah, Zumbah, Jingbah, and Zing Zing Zingbah. They are, of course, uniquely colored and love to dance around. What kind of animal they are...well, that's a good question. They look like bipedal blobs of toothpaste. They waddle around with huge, fuzzy guts, their foreheads light up, and they appear to communicate with their eyes.
Each 20-minute show follows a strict game-plan: the Boohbah emerge from their crystalline pods and begin a unique movement which they eventually perform in tandem; following that, some kids bring a present, which rockets into the air in a blaze of special effects, and we're ushered into our next phase of the show: Storyworld. In Storyworld, one of eight mute characters -- Grandpapa, Grandmama, Mrs. Lady, Mr. Man, Brother, Sister, Auntie, or Little Dog Fido -- interact with the gift somehow after being introduced by an utterly disinterested Englishman. So the characters do their thing, and we're back at the Boohbah hangout (which looks like Superman's Fortress of Solitude). The Boobahs do some more moving, and that's a wrap.
It's all very psychedelic and wonky, but apparently there's a method to the madness. Ann Wood, the creator, speaks of the research-grounded thrust of the show (the movement, the two-dimensional story characters, the colors, the patterns) in one of the extras. I don't what know that all means, but she's British, so I'm just going to go with it. This disc features three Boohbah episodes:
* "Big Windows"
The Boohbahs hatch and dance, and the present of the day is a big window. Brother and Sister play around it. It's awesome.
* "Big TV"
The Boohbahs hatch and dance, and the present of the day is a big TV. It's all about Mr. Man in Storyland, when he finds the TV on a beach and clicks through the channels. Unbelievably thrilling.
* "Long Dink"
The Boohbahs hatch and dance, and the present of the day is a glass of fruit punch (?!?). Mrs. Lady, genius that she is, struggles to figure out a way to drink the juice because the cup has a hole in it. So she uses a long straw. Relentlessly provocative.
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Scales of Justice
* 1.85:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 60 Minutes
Release Year: 2005
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* "Look What I Can Do!"
* Message from Creator Anne Wood
* Official Site