If kids can’t cope with Humpty Dumpty…

..then I feel really worried about the future. I haven’t seen the show they discuss here, but the BBC claims the decision to change Humpty Dumpty’s ending for a popular children’s programme was all about creative expression, not Bowlderizing.

A version used on the CBeebies channel was altered so rather than “couldn’t put Humpty together again” all the King’s horses “made Humpty happy again”.

The broadcaster said the change was made purely for creative reasons rather than trying to give a soft version of the rhyme for children.

Okay, but why? This is like Disney letting the Hunchback of Notre Dame live at the end. Rewriting a historical figure into a grown woman who pals around with a singing raccoon. It inaccurate and more than that, it’s wrong.

Hunchback isn’t a story for kids anyway. Beats me why Disney would have picked it. Great film for the parents, I suppose though. I’ve probably mentioned that whole “Hellfire” tune at some point. No wonder they needed to add some ridiculous gargoyles into the mix for the kiddies. Yikes.

A spokeswoman said: “We play nursery rhymes with their original lyrics all the time and the small change to Humpty Dumpty was done for no other reason than being creative and entertaining.”

But it’s entertaining in its original form. And surely there would be some way to use the actual ending and attach some learning or good message to it about being careful and safe. No one would need to get into the history of nursery rhymes or anything. Interesting stories about its origins, though.

Labour MP Tom Harris told the Independent on Sunday: “For goodness sake. Obviously children will find it far too violent, distressing and horrific that Humpty should not be put back together again.

“This is what happens when adults try to make these kinds of judgments.”

He told the newspaper that he had also seen Little Miss Muffet changed on the channel, so that she made friends with the spider instead of running away.

But the BBC spokeswoman said that alteration was made for similar creative reasons and there was “nothing more to it than that.”

Is it safe to assume Harris was being sarcastic there?

Why not keep Miss Muffet as is, but educate kids about spiders when you tell the rhyme and how unnecessary it is to run from, or kill them at all, usually. Show them how to make an easy spider catcher – clear plastic cup to slap over, cardboard to slide between the floor and the cup, then carefully lift and tip spider into the cup. Easy bite-free viewing to study what kind of spider it might be, and easy transfer to the out of doors where it can be of better use. Not for use with tarantulas, obviously, but how many houses will be infested with those?

Creative discretion or not, I think it does a disservice to kids when people try to shelter them from everything that might cause a little trauma. If they don’t figure out how to deal with the little fears, they’ll never have any experience to fall on if they ever have to endure the big ones.

About 1minionsopinion

Canadian Atheist Basically ordinary Library employee Avid book lover Ditto for movies Wanna-be writer Procrastinator
This entry was posted in culture, In the Media, Why in the world? and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.