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Updated: August 31, 2012 18:05 IST

Come on, Keymon

PHEROZE L. VINCENT
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Keymon Ache Dance Dance! Nick- Viacom 18 Media
Keymon Ache Dance Dance! Nick- Viacom 18 Media

REVIEW Nick’s Keymon Ache might entertain kids, but it’s behind its time

Children’s channel Nick has recently released a cartoon DVD Keymon Ache — Dance Dance! featuring magical Japanese monkey Keymon who talks funny and performs amusing stunts with his companion Rohan Tendulkar. Aimed at the four-to-eight age group, Keymon comes up with a new magic trick in each of the six episodes to allow Rohan to shirk work and enjoy himself. But Rohan and Keymon learn a new lesson every time the magic goes out of their control.

The DVD has six episodes, approximately 11 minutes each, with themes that appeal to young learners — like friendship, cleanliness, perseverance, the importance of sleep, and so on. While the themes chosen are ideal and the presentation is amusing, the producers haven’t given much thought to contemporary sensitivities of communicating with children.

The dialogue is in Hinglish, so parents buying the DVD shouldn’t expect their kids to hone their Hindi or English skills from Keymon and Rohan. Also, kids might pick up inappropriate words like “stupid” and “chapadganjoo” from the show.

But what really raises eyebrows is the depiction of corporal punishment. Rohan’s mother resorts to spanking him at the drop of a hat. Her violence is almost routine. Such behaviour may have been normal in cartoons like Popeye the Sailor produced in the 1940s and ’50s, but the producers of Nick must surely be aware that we have come a long way since. Corporal punishment is outlawed in many states in India, and more effective non-violent methods of reprimand are in practice in most progressive schools. A production of this kind gives a veneer of legitimacy to corporal punishment, which is uncalled for.

Keymon Ache, while depicting a middle-class family, sticks to stereotypes of the housewife mother and the irritable blundering teacher. Sexist lines such as: “Ladkiyon ki tarah mat sharmao,” (Don’t be shy like a girl) do a disservice to the demographic the cartoon represents. This is an inaccurate representation of even the clientele the DVD is targeted at.

But despite the lacunae, the animation is simple and flawless and Keymon is a good entertainer to child and adult alike. It will certainly keep everyone engaged and glued to their TV sets, even if just for an hour.

Keymon Ache — Dance Dance! Nick- Viacom 18 Media Marketed by Radical Enterprises Language: Hindi (with English) Approximate run time: 66 minutes Rs.149

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