Confounding Kids’ Shows, Volume III

Today’s installment features one of the newest shows on Disney Junior. It happens to be one of my son’s favorites, “Sheriff Callie’s Wild West”

On the whole, it is your typical kid’s show featuring talking animals, an infallible hero, and a cast of characters that are always causing problems for the hero to fix. It is sort of cute, and not nearly as annoying as some of the other examples of children’s programming that is out there. Plus, like I said it is one of The Narrator’s favorite shows. He enjoys it so much that he’s commandeered one of my old kepis from my Civil War reenacting days so he can look like deputy Peck.


Cute, no?

The main character is Sheriff Callie, voiced by Mandy Moore. (Who has definitely grown up from how I remember her as a kid by the way, wow.) She’s a calico cat who runs the town of “Nice and Friendly Corners” and protects it from all sorts of bandits and problems, real and imaginary, the whole time trying to teach kids about responsibility, manners, and all that kind of wholesomeness that is infused in television programs for our youngsters.
The rest of the cast of characters are, of course, animals.

Pigs, skunks, rabbits, ducks, and a cow.
The cow is my first point of contention with the show. In spite of the character who is the cartoon equivalent of the bartender, there is an episode where there is a cattle drive or something of the like where a bunch of non-talking cows are herded around during one of the problem sequences.

I couldn’t help but wonder how the bovine bartender would take to her family being treated thusly. It appears to be the old screwed-up disney relationship with dogs. Goofy talks, Pluto doesn’t. They’re both clearly dogs, but spaced quite differently on the evolutionary ladder. The cow situation here is the same thing. One talks, walks, and interacts, her cousins though are the beef herd outside of town. Strange, but not as strange as my MAIN concern with the show.

This guy, right here:


This is Toby. The only character that isn’t an animal. He’s Deputy Peck’s buddy and a main character. He is also clearly a cactus. It isn’t the divergence from the animal kingdom that bugs me about him, nor really is it he himself which is the problem. The issue is that I suspect he is being tortured by the townspeople.


Yep. One of the main ‘treats’ that the people of Nice and Friendly Corners like to drink is….cactus juice. Since there’s ONE cactus wandering around town, the mind could jump to something wildly inappropriate immediately, but I went a different route with it. For some strange reason, the image in my head is that of this poor little succulent being dragged into an alley and wrung like an old towel over a glass every time someone gets a hankering for cactus juice.

Its not explained why he is a cactus, it isn’t talked about why everyone drinks cactus juice, and it certainly isn’t mentioned HOW they come by it whenever someone gets thirsty, but it sort of creeps me out a bit. If Toby ISNT the source of the drink, would his consumption of it be cannibalism?
Yes, I’m reading too much into it. It’s a kid show, leave it alone man. But I just can’t help but let my mind wander during these skull-numbing shows to situations and scenarios that the creators and writers probably never intended to be devised.

Yes, I often wish I could put the the creative segment of my brain towards something constructive rather than pick apart children’s programs in an effort to expose sinister realities, but alas…this is not to be.


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