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Discover Spot (2000)

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Title: Discover Spot (Video 2000)

Discover Spot (Video 2000) on IMDb 7.7/10

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13 June 2000 (USA)  »

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Spot's Musical Adventures  »

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Social engineering with liberal politically correct subtext
7 February 2001 | by (Atlanta, GA) – See all my reviews

This full-length release is Disney's attempt at `updating and improving' Spot. Its real intent is to exploit Spot's popularity to insert a liberal socialization agenda. There is a conscious attempt by the producers to make Spot more like Sesame Street in that it explicitly and implicitly teaches children politically correct lessons. The video is made up of 13 short stories featuring Spot and his friends. After each story, there is a segment where children play various instructive games prompted by a narrator. They are very careful to make sure that at least half the children are minorities.

There is a shift in emphasis towards learning through social interaction instead of from parents, which was the predominant theme in the older Spot videos. The parental roles have changed from teacher and disciplinarian to that of supporter and enabler. Parents are seen as an audience for Spot's various games where they look on and clap enthusiastically. They never disapprove of Spot's childish behavior as they did in previous videos. Most of the lessons Spot learns are now from his friends as he conforms to their behavior.

Among the `improvements' in this new version of Spot are new music and the introduction of a song in each short story. The music is annoying and the songs are worse. The songs are mostly sung by the child they use for Spot's voice who cannot carry a tune. The songs are poorly written and arranged, and the overall effect is extremely grating. Finally, at 75 minutes, this video is long for toddlers and interminable for adults.

On the plus side, there are a number of instructive lessons on various topics that help young children to learn practical lessons. The general tone is mirthful, so it is fun for kids to watch.

I rated this video a 3/10. My principal objection is the politically correct subtext. The parental role has been trivialized in favor of social conformity and group behavior. I feel that the older Spot videos were more constructive, emphasizing proper family values and dynamics, showing the parents as supportive but setting clear boundaries. The message here is that the parents' role is to make the child happy, and that most of life's important lessons come from peers. This reduces the parents to just another one of the child's pals, like Columbine killer Dylan Klebold and his dad, who described Dylan as his `best friend'. My recommendation is to purchase Spot videos produced in the early 90's before Disney started its attempts at using Spot for social engineering


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