FILM CORNER - How Caillou Created A Grounded Following
Updated: Jan 18
A little over a week ago, PBS announced that it would no longer air the Canadian animated educational show, Caillou, throughout their stations. Though the announcement was meant to be a sad one for the children who may of enjoyed the show, parents across the nation as well as those who absolutely hate the show celebrated the occasion.
Many who are familiar with the show have complained how, throughout its run, Caillou presented himself as a disrespectful brat than a model example for children to follow in an educational show. Personally, as someone who grew up watching Barney the Dinosaur, I've never seen a show get so much hate. After seeing clips of the show itself, I completely understood why parents and others don't like the show.
However, when the hatred of something get popular, there's always going to be some sort of satire, and folks, you may want to prepare yourselves. What I'm going to explain is going to be an interesting one.
But before I explain, I need to mention something else that is related to this topic.
In 2007, a man by the name of Alvin Hung created the website, GoAnimate. This was a website meant for easy to create (drop and click) animation videos meant for business purposes. Originally run with Adobe Flash Player, the website had multiple themes, settings, and even incorporated text-to-speech. The website (now branded as Vyond since 2018 and runs on HTML5 since 2015) still runs today with less themes and now charges a pretty hefty fee to use their features.
Why on earth did I briefly mention this GoAnimate website? It is the source of what became known as Grounded videos!
Since 2011, when Vyond was still GoAnimate, users would start using the website for their own fun means, and with the use of the website's old Legacy player and the Comedy World theme (which was inspired by Family Guy), users began to create videos where certain characters from popular educational show would get grounded for whatever actions they do.
And why not use Caillou for these grounded videos?
Caillou is the perfect character to use due to the public's negative viewpoint of him. He's a disrespectful brat, so why not ground him for acts that he does. Of course, more details are brought in within these videos. In these grounded videos, Caillou loves Chuck E. Cheese's (an obvious nod to the company being a sponsor of PBS). Not even Dora the Explorer, Little Bill, and Arthur are safe from being grounded after causing mayhem.
Though there are those who find these Grounded videos as cringey or outright weird, the people who enjoy these videos (and those who make them) as a quick laugh and the ridiculousness of the videos makes them even better to enjoy. You can go on having a character doing a simple thing wrong to doing the absolute chaotic thing, and have them be grounded (or sometime additionally punished with Punishment Days). Even the idea of Behavior Cards are a thing with these videos.
Personally, I am one who enjoys Grounded videos to the point that I became a part of the community last year when I started making Grounded videos of my own.
With all of that said, despite the hatred towards Caillou, without the show, we probably wouldn't of had the creation of Grounded videos (since Caillou became a permanent staple in those videos). So, with the show bidding farewell from the air, Caillou will remain on online videos where he gets grounded, grounded, grounded for just being Caillou.