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Canada: Proud Exporter of Insane Children’s Programming


If you’re the parent of a toddler/pre-schooler, you’re probably at least somewhat familiar with offerings from channels like Sprout and Disney Jr. . But I think Nick Jr. takes the Emeril Lagasse approach to the kiddie entertainment by partnering with Canadian production companies and insaneing things up a notch.

I’ve talked a bit about “Dino Dan,” but I have a feeling I just left you wanting more, so here’s the more.

“Dino Dan” is a show about a supernaturally-annoying 10-year-old Canadian boy who may or may not be quite mentally ill, and can’t get two goddamn words out of his mouth without mentioning some dumb dinosaur. Now, in the real world (America), Dino Dan would be treated like the world’s most irritating possibly insane nerd, but in La La Land (Canada) everyone can’t wait (and they don’t need to, ‘cuz they’re coming roughly every 5 seconds) for Dan’s next info-nugget… and looks at him raptly as he poops them out. To be fair, that’s what the kids do. The adults look at him like “OH, DAN” with a soupcon of “my soul weeps for this damaged child.” Mostly I reckon they’re smiling because they’re thankful none of the dinos have instructed him to kill anybody. THAT WE KNOW OF.

But the producers of “Dino Dan” aren’t content to stop here. No, they have to insane it up one more notch by casting The Kids in the Hall as teachers and this guy–THIS GUY–as Dan’s uncle.


This poor guy can’t take one more fact about dinosaurs. Not one more.

“Paw Patrol” is about a town called “Adventure Bay,” its endearingly incompetent mayor and its endearingly dumb residents, who elected to put a child and a group of puppies in charge of all their emergency services. It is also about the endearingly dumb child who is always needing the Paw Patrol’s services. Ditto for the endearingly dumb marine biologist, Captain Turbot.

The pups are kept pretty busy by the town’s daily “emergencies:” A winter storm threatens a farmer’s crops. A wind turbine blade breaks. The dumb child steers his homemade go-cart into a “busy” street. The mayor loses her “purse chicken,” Chicoletta. Fun fact: In any given show, you will hear the name “Chicoletta” 50 bajillion times. And I’m only exaggerating a little.

Days go by, emergencies are handled and never is it acknowledged that a small child and a group of talking puppies are the town’s only non-idiot residents. It’s…pretty great.

Presumably Chase, “Chase is on the case!” the police dog will never be called out to a domestic violence situation. And if he does–Since this is Adventure Bay (in Canada)–you can assume he’s just breaking up a fight between siblings who both wanted to take out the recycling bin.

Full disclosure: I actually think both shows are really, really cute. “Paw Patrol” has really grown on me, which is great because my son is obsessed with the Halloween episode. I’ve probably seen it 20 times.

If I ever have another child, she will surely be named “Chicoletta.”

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