STUDIO: Genius Products
MSRP: $12.71
RATED: NR – Children’s Interest
• "Toddworld" sing-a-long
• Meet the gang!
• Furnish a character’s room
• Bonus episode of "Bigfoot presents Meteor and the Mighty Monster Trucks"

The Pitch

Flash-animated ghouls reveal why it’s good that we’re all individuals.

The Humans


SUNG BY NEEDLESSLY ULTRAVIOLENT PIRATE CHARACTER: "The treasure is mine!" said Bluebeard, who wore the most fanciful pants. "I’ll mace you and burn you and pluck out your eyes, and run your throat through with a lance!"

The Nutshell

Todd (the central character of Toddworld, who’s blue, for some reason), his dog, and his circle of friends learn why it’s good to live and play with all kinds of different people, such as pirate freaks or space aliens. Episodes include "Princess Pirate", "Dirt Day", "Bark like a Cat", "Underwear Everywhere", "Whatever Sways your Swing", and "Big Feet."

The Lowdown

Oh man, I’ve been so confused over the past few days. So, I get Toddworld in the mail, and I find out it’s a children’s cartoon. That’s fine. But according to the cover art on the box and the instructions from CHUD, this thing is called "OddWorld". There’s a creatively placed "T" in front of "OddWorld" on the cover art than apparently nobody (including myself) ever noticed. I spent the better part of the morning searching the internet for "OddWorld: Being an Individual", but I kept getting hits for "OddWorld" the video game. Ironically, when I asked to review this title, I was hoping that the OddWorld DVD was somehow related to the game, or that at least maybe it was some kind of spiritual sequel to Tod Browning’s Freaks. Sadly for me, OddWorld is an educartoonative inspiractivity, which is a term I recently coined to describe cartoons where you’re supposed to learn stuff.

My point is this: If nobody’s familiar with your product, don’t use creative lettering like the "T" in Toddworld, or people aren’t going to know the name of your product. They’re just going to call it OddWorld, which is a much more interesting title, anyway.

"My Dad ran off twenty minutes ago yelling something about OH NO MY STEPTIC TANK IS BUSTED! OH NO MY STEPTIC TANK IS BUSTED! Do any of you guys know what a steptic tank is?"

Toddworld is a good natured, poorly executed cartoon for small children (I’m thinking between the ages of 4 and 8) that might work well in schools with limited funding. The animation is colorful and might be fun for kids, but I can’t get around the fact that it looks like a flash cartoon.

Here’s the basic gist of Toddworld: there are six ten-minute-long episodes, each dealing with a different topic. For example, "Dirt Day" chronicles the encounter between Todd’s group and a visiting space alien. When the alien tells them about his culture’s "Dirt Day" holiday, most of the kids are confused, but by the end, they realize that it can be fun to celebrate a holiday even if you’re unfamiliar with it.

"Whatever Sways your Swing" shows kids that it’s good to accept others regardless of their sexual orientation (actually, it’s about a magical hippo who causes a playground uproar by literally swinging differently on the swing set, but let’s not be naive- it’s about tolerance of sexual orientation). "Underwear Everywhere" shows kids that it’s not cool to succumb to peer pressure, and "Bark like a Cat" illustrates the importance of embracing the strength of diversity. It’s all well intentioned stuff, so it’s a pity that it looks so cheaply produced. On the upside, it’s only $12.71.

The writers originally wanted to call this episode "…not that there’s anything wrong with that!"

Take my review with a grain of salt, since I have no children and don’t interact with kids on a regular basis. It’s simple and colorful, and the characters are lively and fun. The messages are all important, so if they help some wayward kid realize that having friends with different ethnic or religious backgrounds can be enriching, then I’d recommend this as a stocking stuffer this year.

The Package

There are a great deal of extras here, including an interactive "room makeover" game, a "meet the gang" featurette, and a sing-a-long video. There’s also an out-of-place "Bigfoot presents: Meteor and the Mighty Monster Trucks" episode, which looks like a half-baked attempt to capitalize on Pixar’s Cars. I didn’t make it through the first fifteen minutes of this. It’s just awful.

The video is fine, and the audio is a serviceable Dolby 2/0 track. The box art caused me grief due to the phantom "T" in front of "oddworld," so I give it a thumbs down.

As a child, Admiral Thrawn delighted in conducting genetic experiments. Here, we see an early attempt at womp rat/nerf hybrids.

5.0 out of 10