Je Suis La Jeune Fille

la fille

No, my blog hasn’t been hijacked by Pepe Le Pew or Corporal “Cockroach” LeBeau.  But yes, that’s French I’m speaking.  And no, this blogger isn’t French, he’s American… and he just stupidly called himself a girl…

Genuine Squirrel Scout cookies, ma'am?

Genuine Squirrel Scout cookies, ma’am?

tuesday tvIf you haven’t figured out what the featured commercial is for today’s Retro Ad Tuesday yet, you must not have watched much Nickelodeon in the late 80’s and early 90’s.  The ad time on Nick must have been cheap in the early mornings, because there were a handful of commercials that seemed to air during every single commercial break.  One of them was for a groundbreaking animated series that was going to teach your children how to speak a new language so fast, that you could take them along on your European vacation one week later to be your translator.  This was the one and only master of all tongues Muzzy, and if you haven’t seen the commercial in a while, here it is in all of its dated glory…

It’s usually good advice to not glaringly point out your product’s flaws in the advertisement pitching it, but right off the bat in this commercial, it’s quite obvious that Muzzy’s going to teach our children how to speak a new language about as easily as the Spanish half of the instructions on that circular saw you got for Christmas.  The most memorable part about this commercial is the opening where the kids watch Muzzy on their telly (this is a British cartoon, after all) and the girl cheerfully repeats what Muzzy just said, extremely proud of the fact that she is the only person in the entire monsterish-speaking world who had any clue what the hell that big hairy thing just belched out of his marblemouth.

The Godpigeon says Muzzy needs to clean the shit out of throat.

The Godpigeon says Muzzy needs to clean the shit out of his throat.

Now I’m not saying kids aren’t good at figuring things out… I mean, have you tried to translate a text message from a tween into English lately?  But nobody, even the French kids who probably got to watch “The Mysterious Cities of Gold” and “Spartakus” in their native languages, had any clue what that giant hairball was muttering.  This fille was quite obviously given le cue card to read off of.

france paris squirrel skunk

Scritch is “scritch” in any language.

If you thought that the world only recently became a global community, you better think again.  Here we have a 25 year old product featuring a British cartoon helping kids in America learn how to speak French.  This was the kind of international cooperation that helped our countries stomp the Germans in not just one, but TWO World Wars.

Verrrrry interesting!

Verrrrry interesting!

And it’s not like we needed the very proper British lady pitching the product, nor the fact that this was a BBC production to know that Muzzy had to be British animation.  Sure, everyone knows that Japanese animation is all very similar, but the same is true with the art from across the pond.  Compare the scene from the Muzzy commercial on the left with a shot of one of Nickelodeon’s classic time-filling “Sports Cartoons”, which was British/Canadian in origin, on the right.

They only look scrawny because the hippo's so fat.

They only look scrawny because the hippo’s so fat.

I took two years of Spanish in high school, and another year of it in college.  While I learned enough at the time to pass the classes, two decades later, I’m pretty much back at the point of trying to speak Spanish by adding an O onto the end of every word.  I’ve learned more about foreign languages through 15 years of working at Mecca and taking note of the bilingual labels.  Seriously, if you ever want to learn Spanish or French, go to the store and spend a few hours reading every product label that is also translated into another language… and you’ll pick up some culture in no time.  Not to mention, you’ll learn some amazing facts, like how the French and Americans can’t even agree on what color a fish is…

I'd say we're probably both wrong...

I’d say we’re probably both wrong…

So, with a new language being as close as your nearest big box store, you have to ask yourself, “Is $28.08 a month for six months too steep a price to pay for my kids to attempt to learn a second tongue from a gang of monsters with speech impediments?”  The answer is obvious.  This little kids version of Rosetta Stone was nothing more than an expensive way to keep your kids busy watching cartoons much like everything else they’d already watched on “Pinwheel” and “Sesame Street”.  But for nostalgia purposes, Muzzy more than passes The Nest’s sniff test, and for that we give the makers of this cartoon that got lost in translation a big ol’ french kiss.  It doesn’t even matter if the creator was a guy or not, after all, je suis la jeune fille!

¡Tu eres un douchebago!

¡Tu eres un doucheo bago!

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About evilsquirrel13

Bored former 30-something who has nothing better to do with his life than draw cartoon squirrels.
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9 Responses to Je Suis La Jeune Fille

  1. PigLove says:

    I wonder if I could produce a video on how to speak pig and market it? That’s an ideal… off to work some marketing scams… I mean commercials. Snorts – XOXO – Bacon

  2. draliman says:

    They don’t make adverts like that any more! I’d sign up if it weren’t 25 years too late.
    Nowadays we just assume everybody can already speak English.

  3. goldfish says:

    GOLDFISH!

    (I always thought they were more orangey myself)

  4. Tu es tellement intelligent. Mal écureuil. 🙂

  5. reocochran says:

    Funny but sometimes those kids going into acting and do a fabulous job!

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