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hoops&yoyo's Haunted Halloween
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that the titular characters of hoops&yoyo's Haunted Halloween are the modern faces of Hallmark products including greeting cards, e-cards, apps, and stationery items. They're hyperactive and fun-loving, but their escapades often end in general chaos and some property damage, all of which is played for fun in the story. The special sets out to make a statement against the commercialism of the holidays -- and Halloween in particular -- and celebrates the spirit instead (an irony that kids might be prompted to recognize). Expect some brief moments of surprise (spooky figures giving chase), dialogue with multiple instances of "butt," and a scene showing nearly naked mannequins in a store window, but overall, the content is OK for most families.
What's the story?
It's Halloween afternoon, and Hoops (voiced by Mike Adair) and Yoyo (Bob Holt) are off to locate just the right costumes to dazzle the guests at a friend's party later that evening. When their search leads them to the mall, they accidentally get locked in after closing time only to find that they're being followed by three creepy shadowy figures. As they make their way through the mall to escape their pursuers, they find their quest for costumes unfulfilled, but a surprise revelation from their mysterious tag-alongs might be just what they're looking for.
Is it any good?
This is a carefree holiday special that captures the essence of these joyful, hyperactive characters who have a knack for turning lemons into lemonade pie with a cherry on top. Stuck in a locked mall on Halloween night when all your friends are at a costume party? That's hardly enough to keep these guys down, and multi-generational audiences will find plenty of laughable moments as hoops&yoyo treat themselves to a behind-the-scenes tour of an after-hours mall full of stores that spoof some of Hallmark's real-world neighbors.
If you're looking for some substance with your giggles, you'll have to search beyond the antics of these famous pink kitty and green bunny, whose sense of adventure leads them into some scenarios that in your kids' world would bring some hefty consequences for stealing and damaging property. Of course, in the context of this comical story, it's all fun and games, and older kids will likely take it as such. Even better, they might grasp some of the story's intended message against holiday commercialism that's cleverly entwined with the identity of the mystery characters -- although there's a touch of irony in the fact that it's delivered by two poster kids for imbedded marketing.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about advertising. Are you familiar with the hoops&yoyo characters? Where have you seen them? Do you like them more or less now that you've seen this show? How will having seen it change your interest in the products bearing their images?
Kids: How would you characterize their behavior during this story? Do they seem to obey the same rules you have to obey when you're in a store or a mall? Do their actions ever lead to trouble for them? Why or why not?
Which is your favorite holiday? What traditions do you most enjoy around that time? In what ways do those traditions reflect your family's heritage or faith? How are they influence by commercialism?
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