Sunday, May 17, 2009

Handy Manny

I stumbled across a new cartoon a few minutes ago while channel surfing: Handy Manny.

Handy Manny is geared towards toddlers and pre-K students, and features a handyman named Manuel who, along with his trusty little toolbox of talking tools, runs around town and fixes things.

In the few minutes I managed to watch this thing, Manny spent some time talking half English, half Spanish to his tools, danced to some Mariachi music blaring in his workshop, and then got a phone call to go fix something.

This show annoys me. I know the makers of the cartoon were aiming for multiculturalism and problem solving, but I can't help feeling like they fell short of the mark. I kind of felt like I was watching a really clean, really cutesy racist joke in motion.

Meet Manny, the unskilled laborer! Watch him dance to loud Mexican music in his shop, and then run around trying to make a buck fixing things for people!

Really? They REALLY can't see how that looks? At any moment, he was about to be joined by his friend Oscar the orange-seller and Hugo the Home-Depot loiterer. I changed the channel before they all popped open a bunch of coronas and started cooking things in foil on the BBQ.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree, Becky. There is a definite racist undertone on this program, and I'm considering banning it from my 5 year old daughter's morning routine. There is one, and ONLY one, white male on the show, and he's a bumbling idiot. I'm sick of television using such thinly-veiled stereotypes. I believe it undermines the family. I looked for a place on the Disney website to voice my concerns, and guess what - there's none to be found. They don't want to hear it, obviously. If you can find a way to get in touch with these people, please let me know.

Jim in Simpsonville SC

August 31, 2010 at 5:04 AM  

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