Franklin the Turtle from Noggin is inappropriate for young children?

I happened to catch an episode of Franklin on Noggin last night (my one year old loves Noggin and watches all the shows, including Franklin, even though he has no idea what’s goin on…). Anyway, this particular episode involved Frankin’s grandmother explaining to Franklin the meaning and significance of a “time capsule”, and how she made one when she was a five and buried it in the backyard, hoping to dig it up years later. When Franklin asked her if she ever retrieved it, she said that she never had the chance. I expected the reason to be because she moved or something along those lines. However, she proceeded to tell the tale (along with an emotional recreation) of how while she was playing in the yard a couple of days after she buried the time capsule, her house caught fire and burned down, killing both her parents! (I mean, even for me - an adult male - it was pretty deep watching this little turtle crying while watching her house burn down and whispering “Mother??? Father???”.

This scene was followed by another scene in which Frankin’s grandmother is all of sudden lying in bed, incredibly ill and dying, so Franklin decides to go find the time capsule in an attempt to “save her” by making her feel better.

I mean, I imagine that the average viewer of this show is 4 or 5? How is this appropriate subject matter??? What happened to the drama of learning how to share or eat your vegetables?

Wow. I’ve seen episodes of “Franklin” and…wow. I had no idea it got this dark. That just seems so out there for such an overwhelmingly wholesome show. Usually the darkest it gets is cheating on a spelling test or taking a toy home from school that you shouldn’t.

That’s kind of bizarre. Are you sure you weren’t watching the Adult Swim version of Franklin?

No worse then when Dora and Boots finally did it.


I wouldn’t have believed it if I weren’t watching it with my own two eyes. Even after my son was no longer watching , I continued to watch and see if they killed off the grandmother as well!

It would have turned out that grandma set the fire if that were the case.

The best children’s entertainment is always horribly scaring.

There’s an episode of Arthur called “Bleep”. I forget the particulars, but it’s about swearing. D.W. learns a swear and starts swearing in all sorts of inappropriate situations (since she’s five years old or so, that would be every situation). They didn’t just suggest that she was swearing - they bleeped out the swears. The Berenstain bears have a similar episode.

Most kids who are young enough to want to watch Arthur or The Berenstain Bears have no idea that there are swear words. The worst word they know is “stupid” (say “stupid” in any context and every kid will tell you that it’s a very bad word). Who thought that teaching them that swears exist would be educational? If there are kids who already know swears watching, is a TV show going to make them stop? They probably learned the swears from TV in the first place.

Well, did they?

Thankfully, no. Saved me from finishing off the Prozac…

Some children’s shows get it right.

This was a full length Franklin movie, entitled “Franklin and the Turtle Lake Treasure”.

I’m sorry I don’t know how to write a proper link, but here it is at Amazon:
I also thought it was a pretty out-there episode of Franklin. Usually the stories are gentle - usually the worst thing that happens is Franklin loses Sam, or he thinks his friends don’t like him anymore.

I don’t think the grandmother actually says that her parents were incinerated in the fire - she says something like, “I lost everything that day”. Still, a heavy topic for little ones!

Wait, you think 5 year olds don’t know about swear words?

They don’t learn about swear words from the TV. They learn from listening to their parents. I remember being a bit embarrassed when my 2 year old dropped a crayon and loudly exclaimed, “Fuck! I say Fuck!”

Yeah, that’s true, but as the voice over says “I lost everything that day”, the flashback is the young 5 year old girl staring at the house buring down and saying “Mother??? (weep weep) Father?? (weep weep)”

Maybe it’s meant to go over kids’ heads, but who are they writing these shows for anyway?

Yep, my five-year old got to be the coolest kid in class by saying ‘Oh, fucking hell!’ when it was to wet to go outside and play.

I apologised to the teacher for teaching my kid that phrase. My dad spent the next week teaching her worse ones - he’s like that.

Sesame Street was great for dealing with BIG issues. When I was little, it was about the only show that did (IIRC). Then during the 80’s and 90’s there seemed to be a whole landslide of little kid shows dealing with *Huge Life changing Events *TM (that didn’t affect the cast or set-up for next week’s show).

We used to have a Franklin book that dealt with mixed race families and prejudice - so the OP wasn’t such a shock to me.

I was watching Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends the other day; the episode was “Go Goo Go,” which introduces the character of Goo. Goo is described by one of the other characters as having an over-active imagination and being easily over-stimulated. Consequently, she is banned from Foster’s because when she comes there, she winds up stuffing the place with brand new friends she imagines on a whim and then essentially abandons. Oh, and by the way, she is African-American.

I’ve seen this episode before, but for some reason, it never struck me until the other day: Goo is a welfare queen.

I would really like to know if McCracken et al. got any grief over that.

Were you embarrassed because he swore, or because your 2 year old is Foghorn Leghorn?

What! Like… a bear marrying a rabbit? What did the kids look like?

While the parents dying seems a little bit of a tonal departure for Franklin, it’s certainly not unusual for kid stories, in which the great number of orphans is far in excess of the statistical norm.

Something very much like that. Definitely a critter of differing phyla, which lead to a discussion about why they couldn’t really breed in real life, which lead to a discussion of why mixed race families are even considered odd when we’re all human, which was probably the point of the story.

I’m starting to wonder if it was Franklin because I think the kid was half rabbit, half turtle. Definitely one of those deep and meaningful series where every story is a Life Lesson. The main character’s dad helped them build a fantastic tree hut, so that all the other mean kids had to be nice to the rabtle (turbit?).

Great message; “Bribe them into being your friends!”

I’m open minded, but…a half rabbit-half turtle? That’s a little freakish.

On “Sagwa,” there was an episode where the cats’ cousin is a dog, but it’s because he’s adopted.