Wednesday, 26 October 2011

It's Rastamouse!

Rastamouse is a skateboarding, reggae playing, super cool mouse with a laid back vibe.  He's the leader of the all mouse Easy Crew and he is "Irie Man!"  With his friends Zoomer and Scratchy they are the funkiest kids TV secret agent, crime fighting characters, who solve mysteries and have adventures in Mouseland.  

The characters have been brought to life by Character with 9" plush toys complete with music and sounds from the show.  Rastamouse wears his Rasta Tam and sports his dreadlocks and speaks phrases with Jamaican Patois or sings the Easy Crew song when his tummy is pressed.  

We were sent a Rastamouse Toy and DVD from so we could try him ourselves.  

The first thing Freddy wanted to do was get his skateboard out from under his arm.  It comes stitched to his body, but a quick snip with scissors and Rastamouse was skateboarding!  Pressing his tummy makes him say one of his phrases such as "Irie Man!" or "Wagwam!" which did make the kids giggle!  Freddy loved making him ride on the skateboard and was most intrigued by his long tail.

The DVD "Da Crucial Plan & Other Adventures" includes six episodes:

  • Da Crucial Plan
  • Bakin' An Breakin'
  • Mice Camera Action
  • Da Rhymin' Teef
  • Pie Without Cheese
  • Toots Re-Routes
Freddy and Kizzy settled down to watch Rastamouse accompanied by their new toy.  From the Rasta-Style opening credits with the motto "make a bad ting good" they were hooked!  When the 'Prez' Wensley Dale calls them in to solve crimes, the Easy Crew spring into action (albeit in a laid back way!)  The stop-frame animation has a retro feel rather than being high tech which adds to the charm.  The stories show how people can get on and solve problems through understanding, love and respect.  It teaches right from wrong and helps wrong doers redeem themselves for their mistakes rather than resorting to punishment.  There is an ethos of forgiveness which is quite heart warming.

I love the cultural references and the fact that us adults can enjoy Rastamouse alongside our children.  The storytelling, humour and the energy are infectious.  The music, colour, language, rhythm and rhyme are engaging.  

Some criticism was levelled against Rastamouse for being racist, and stereotyping the Afro-Caribbean way of life, but this debate is no different to the kerfuffle that exploded when Tinky Winky from the Teletubbies first said "Eh-Oh".  You only need to look at how successful and much loved that show has proved itself to be over the years. Personally I think it is a really positive thing to represent different cultures in our multi-cultural society.  The characters are good role models, doing right and promoting good!   It has gained a cult status with some because of the cultural inferences to the Rasta way of life, but this is a fun CBeebies show with pre-school entertainment at its heart!

Rastamouse (and the other 9" plush characters) are available to buy for £12.99 from Character-Online.
"Da Crucial Plan" is available on DVD for £8.49 at Amazon.
They would make a great gift for any Rastamouse fans!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...