Sometimes you see television that makes you wonder.
This morning I watched, from the corner of my eye, a television cartoon my children were watching. The main character, Andy, is a highschool kid who likes to set up practical jokes. As one of these jokes fails in preparation, his punishment is to spend a day in a kindergarten class. He is obviously not happy with that situation. After a break (commercial?) we see him and the kids lying on the floor resting. We see them from above, through the blades of an ceiling fan.
His line is: “Kindergarten, shit, still in Kindergarten.”
This is a reference to the opening scene from Francis Ford Coppola’s “Apocalypse Now!” movie on Vietnam. Captain Willard’s mission starts with him waking up from a dream on helicopters, looking at a fan in a hotel room, and saying: “Saigon, shit, still only in Saigon.” I could rant on for hours on this movie alone, but I digress.
Now why in the world would the creator of this Andy story put in this reference? It is absolutely incomprehensible to children, the primary audience. Heck, I even have colleagues who weren’t born at the time (the movie is from 1979, well over 25 years ago).
I have a few ideas, but please share yours.
One possibility is that it is a joke of the creator, for his peers. This is not uncommon, even software writers do this (they call such a hidden joke an Easter egg). Another hypothesis is that this is a way to keep kids movies interesting for adults, who find themselves watching this stuff, voluntarily or not. Disney family movies are known for this, for example by having a soundtrack with music that cannot have meaning to the kids, but brings back memories to their parents (think sixties music).
So, what are your ideas?