Tuesday, May 23, 2006

What the Deuce Is That About?

Okay, here's the story. I can't figure out how this works or why some folks think this sort of thing is a good idea, but it has happened a lot recently. Sorry, I am getting ahead of myself.

Has anyone else noticed the inclusion of stars and actors in kids' fare whose other work is certainly not family friendly? For example, Larry the Cable Guy stars in the new Disney film, Cars, as Mater the Tow Truck. Many people find him funny; I find him vulgar and unnecessarily profane. Here's my problem: doesn't featuring him in that movie send the messagge that he's appropriate listening material for the kids? I know I can be a little hypersensitive on the subject of what kids see and when do they see it, but it seems kinda, well, dumb. Further, if the kids aren't familiar with Larry's work, does he necessarily bring any marketability to the film? It's very perplexing to me.

Then there's the case of Disney's show "Phil of the Future," which stars Craig Anton. You might remember Mr. Anton from his previous work on Mad TV, again, not a show for family viewing, or for that matter anyone else, IMHO. (In the interest of full disclosure, I did enjoy the Marlene McBride segments as well as Ms. Swan.) Again, you want to ask, when did including this guy seem like a good idea?

Not that this is a first for Disney. We all remember Dean Jones with great pleasure as the Shaggy D.A. and the fellow that owned an E.T. feline. Dean had a remarkable run on Broadway, most notably in the original production of "Company." "Company" is hardly family fare so why did Disney chose this guy? Dean is a further interesting example as I think later in life he underwnet a conversion to Christianity of some Evangelical stripe. He used his acting ability to produce a series of biblical stories.

So, here's the point of the post: is there a statute of limitations on holding your previous work against you before you can star in children's programming? Should your other body of work preclude you from working in other genres where your previous work might not be appreciated?

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