Paramount // 2006 // 60 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // March 22nd, 2006
We're back for another round of Boohbah, that insane British kids show from the creators of Teletubbies, another insane British kids show. While the latter was certainly aimed at young, young ones, the former appears to have been dialed down to "near-embryonic." The show is essentially a collection of neon-bright colors, dancing to simple rhythms, and outlandish characters smiling and jumping. We're talking 20 minutes of this -- on repeat.
I have never seen a television show that so appears to be a direct result of recreational drug use. Watching the Boohbahs (Jumbah, Humbah Zing Zing Zingbah, Jingbah, Zumbah) dance to pulsing, one-note synthesizer music is enough to rupture a brain synapse or two. I particularly like their introduction in each episode: crawling from some kind of organic, plastic pod as if the next item on their to-do list after "dance and bounce off each other's fat asses" is "take over the bodies of human beings and dominate the world."
Following a round of dancing, some kids usher in the next segment of the show: the trip to Storyworld. These "stories" are merely simple vignettes utilizing one of eight silent, too-happy characters (Grandpapa, Grandmama, Mr. Man, Mrs. Lady, Brother, Sister, Auntie, and little dog Fido) farting around whatever prop the kids bring in. Once the Boohbahs see the prop they use some kind of crazy mind meld, and their frontal lobes explode into a plume of rudimentary special effects and we're off to Storyland.
After whatever character embarks on whatever goofiness, we return for an encore dance by the Boohbahs, and then it's back into their pods for another 3,000 years, until, as it is foretold, they will return to smite the infidels and rule the Earth for 1 million years while rivers of blood flow over the bones of the unbelievers.
As I have previously noted in the other review, the full-on hallucinogenic feel of the show is apparently grounded in scholarly research. You know, like kids love the movement and the colors and the simplicity and the patterns and the rest of that tripe. Not having any guinea pigs -- er -- kids, myself, I was unable to test these hypotheses. But I found myself transfixed by the sheer bizarreness of the show, so what's to say kids wouldn't? If there are subliminal messages being broadcasted by Zing Zing Zingbah to set fire to the golden retriever, well, I can't speak to that speculation. (Though, I wouldn't put it past him...or her...or it.)
Three episodes, delivered in a nice anamorphic widescreen transfer, on this disc, supplemented with "Look What I Can Do!" (a series of shorts featuring kids jumping up and down) and a message from creator Anne Wood where she explains why her new show is designed the way it is (with no mention of the influence of prescription medication).
* "Building Blocks"
While the Boohbahs bounce around, Grandmama struggles to build up a tower of blocks -- until she figures out the magic of the forklift. It's a can't-miss episode.
* "Magical Pipe"
These jokes just write themselves.
* "Desert Island"
Brother and Sister languish on a desert island, unable to swim away. Thankfully, they stumble upon the drain and let all the water out, freeing them to traipse away happily, and for us to be returned to the Boohbahs for some more unbridled trippiness.
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Scales of Justice
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 60 Minutes
Release Year: 2006
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* "Look What I Can Do!"
* Message from Creator Anne Wood
* Official Site