Hello Kitty's Paradise Review
By Maria Waters, 28 (with the help and opinions of Vivienne Waters, 10 and Eve Waters, 4 months)
She’s a cute kitten and she has a bow in her hair. Sometimes its blue, sometimes it’s red, sometimes it’s a flower. Hello Kitty by Sanrio has been a favourite of small girls since the 70’s. But is her sugary cuteness multi generational? Do kids today like her? Or are all her fans, like me, sad 70’s kitsch queens? To carry out this studied experiment in media cross referencing and generational appeal I enlisted the help and reviewing skills of my 10 year old daughter and my 4 month old niece. I will interpret the review session in transcript here as best I can.
11am - Put DVD in machine. Vivienne complains that watching this DVD is making her miss Saved by the Bell. Maria points out that she has seen aforementioned Saved by the Bell at least 8 times previously. Vivienne makes slight Kevin the teenager noise but then is quiet. The screen is filled with rainbows and lollipops and a extremely annoying song about Hello Kitty where the word Kitty is spelled out in a cheer several times. We also see all of Kitty’s friends and her sister Mimi. Mimi looks exactly like Kitty except she has a yellow bow; possibly sometimes hers is changed for a flower too. We are not informed of this however. While we are pondering this plot device we realise the menu will sing the Hello Kitty theme possibly into infinity. Eve shifts on Maria’s lap and begins to grumble and the idea that small babies enjoy repetition is proved incorrect. We decide to go to the first of the exciting menu options of ‘Play all’ compelling though ‘Fun and Games’ seems.
11.05 – We begin to watch the first episode…it starts with that song again. We see Kitty’s parents. They look so much like Kitty and Mimi, Maria starts to believe they may be members of the Railian cult and have cloned themselves a family. An enthralling plot about Kitty and her enjoying staying in bed in the mornings begins. Kitty’s mum encourages Kitty to be an early riser by giving her some seeds. To grow flowers. Eve yawns and then farts. Vivienne laughs for the first time since the DVD started. The plot of this episode is very very dull so we skip to the next one that is called ‘A Storybook Adventure’ Maria asks Vivienne if she has ever seen this cartoon before,
‘Yeah it was on Fox Kids. Once in the Holidays. Once. And never again’
Maria begins to admire the programming skills of Fox Kids and can see why a repeat of Power Rangers Turbo might be preferable to Kitty’s total lack of excitement. A song begins about being up in the sky. It is also annoying but we have at least not heard it before.
11.17 – Eve falls asleep. Maria considerers her view to be valid.
11.23 - Vivienne asks if we can watch Grease now.
11.25 – Vivienne asks if we can watch Austin Powers now instead.
11.28 – Vivienne asks if we can just turn the TV off. Vivienne has never asked this before in her life and Maria is shocked to the point of disbelief. It seems this episode is no better than the last one. We then return to the main menu and we do this very quickly, so as we don’t have to deal with the Kitty song again. We choose ‘Fun and Games’.
11.30 – Vivienne tries the first game ‘Nutty Numbers’ it asks her what household item has 10 numbers and 2 symbols and the buttons make musical sounds, and part of it rests on your ear. Vivienne again makes the Kevin the teenager noise.
‘I thought these were games? You can’t DO anything on them, and they are stupid’
There are 9 games in total and each is slightly more patronising than the last one. Maria remarks that they are not as good as the games on Bod used to be. Vivienne asks what the games on Bod used to be like and Maria tells her of guessing the flavour of Alfredo the Frogs Milkshake. Vivienne raises one eyebrow in a Roger Moore style. Vivienne begs to be allowed out. Eve dribbles slightly from one corner of her mouth. The main menu is returned to but none of us feel we could sit through the songs section without the aid of medical attention. Hello Kitty is ejected. Maria asks Vivienne her opinion on Hello Kitty
‘’It was crap. And gay’
Maria hides her amusement well and gives Vivienne a lecture on homophobic attitudes. Vivienne explains the use of the word gay is not homophobic, and gay people are ok, like Tatu and Willow from Buffy and everyone calls crap things ‘gay’ and laughs. Maria feels very old, but asks Vivienne for a more in depth review,
‘It’s probably ok for little kids. But it was boring and all of Kitty’s family moved really slow and weird. Like Zombies. And it was crap and gay’
I have a Hello Kitty Handbag, and credit card case and phone cover and bubble bath. But even I hated the cartoon version. If you’re my age Hello Kitty has a cool and retro vibe, but you really really don’t want to have to watch the cartoon. I used to wonder why Hello Kitty had no mouth. Now I realise why. This cartoon is very bad Japanese animation like Pokemon but without any action whatsoever, and considering as we have recently seen that Anime can win Oscars it just shows up how bad it can be when no real thought has gone into it. In conclusion, I must admit I have to agree with Vivienne’s review, although I did think it was very pretty.
There is a total lack of information about this DVD online and at most places it is just titled 'Hello Kitty' so if you DO feel a desperate desire to purchase it, you may have some trouble!