I have three kids, so I’ve seen things that can’t be unseen. You might think, therefore, that I don’t scare easily. Mostly, you’d be right. I can watch things like The Walking Dead with a freakishly placid demeanour, for example.
However, there are some kids’ things that give me the creeps. Here are a few of them…
Animal Crossing: New Horizons
We got the kids this game on the strength of positive reviews and the strong suggestion that it’s good for mindfulness. And, to a certain degree, it is. But you don’t have to scratch too far beneath the surface to find some pretty disturbing stuff.
It’s set on a desert island. There are conches. And pigs. There’s something off about the Nook family too. I’m not sure whether they’re a nod to Jack’s gang in Lord of the Flies or Lord Summerisle et al from The Wickerman. Ugh. And don’t even get me started on the pumpkin-headed sociopath who turns up at Halloween.
I was horrified to discover a blonde with dishevelled hair in my side of the bed the other day. Even more disturbingly, she was reading a book about herself and had a chameleon on her shoulder. Yes, thankfully it wasn’t a stalker from when I made the odd TV appearance but a Rapunzel doll that youngest owns.
The thing is, it’s massive. It’s only a little smaller than her. And she has a habit of creating then abandoning play scenes with it. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve walked into a room and momentarily thought “Who the hell is that?” And, yes, jumped out of my skin.
It’s been a while since Moon and Me was on in our house but things that unnerve you stay with you forever so Mr Onion falls into this category. He looks friendly enough but says “onions” with a worryingly self-assured frequency and clearly has a penchant for interfering with sleep.
He drags the slumbering Sleepy Dibillo around on his pillow for starters. Then there’s the episode in which he makes a loudspeaker out of a paper cone and brazenly wakes up an entire kingdom. He even sings joyfully about his plans to do so. Psycho.
Dora the Explorer
Breaking the illusory fourth wall is all very well and it’s a great educational device to engage young children too. But parents who have little choice but to watch along have clearly been left out of the rationale behind the eponymous explorer’s methods of addressing viewers.
She stares unblinkingly at you for an uncomfortable amount of time. Like a shark. She completely ignores whatever you shout out too, but retains a self-satisfied manner which is extremely unsettling.
Which kids’ things give you the creeps?