Saturday morning cartoons
While channel flipping on a recent Saturday morning, I happened upon a children's show called "The Zula Patrol". The characters on the cartoon, who I believe were aliens from the planet Zula, were trying to restore Earth's water supply, which had mysteriously gone missing. Apparently the Hydrogen family and the Oxygen family were embroiled in a Hatfield and McCoy-esque feud and couldn't stand to be near each other, so there was no H2O anywhere to be found. In the end, Earth's water was recovered. The families got back together for the sake of two of their youngsters, who had fallen in love, or something like that. I can't remember whether the boy was oxygen and the girl was hydrogen, or whether it was the other way around. (I guess the writers tried to resolve the plot while glossing over the fact that the proper ratio is TWO hydrogen atoms to an oxygen atom. Good thing this show is aimed at kindergarteners.)
1) Cool! A TV show about chemistry!
2) Wait a minute. When I was growing up, Saturday morning cartoons were all about violence and slapstick. These kids are getting gypped.
3) I guess I'm a purist, but I don't like slick-looking computer animation as much as the lovingly hand-drawn kind.
I did a little digging on the web, and it turns out that "The Zula Patrol" aims to promote interest and understanding of science concepts to very young children, but also throws lessons in tolerance and advocates nonviolence. It was neat to read credits and see how many Ph.D.'s were involved in producing this cartoon. It looks like I caught one of only two episodes about chemistry-related topics, though. Most of the episodes are about space science, which makes sense given the setting and characters.
Labels: current events