The Existential Angst of "Hello Kitty: Stump Village" Vol. 1

By Ace the Bathound
10-25-2006, 2:45 PM
... While the first volume of Hello Kitty: Stump Village shows some rough edges, the core of Hello Kitty remains intact, expressing the futility of existence; the casual, Darwinistic cruelty we exercise on each other, often for little or no reason; and the meaningless suffering that infuses our lives. The show is ostensibly about four animalistic friends who symbolize the ego (Hello Kitty), the id (Pompompurin), the superego (My Melody), and the fundamental mysteries of the unknown (Cinamoroll); sadly, the stand-in for the Jungian collective unconscious (Badtz-Maru) appears only in the opening credits. The four engage in play activities heavily laden with symbolism in an ultimately futile dance against the existential void that hangs over them like the sword of Damocles. The sunglasses My Melody owns but refuses to share in the second episode takes on the same metaphorical weight of the Coke bottle in The Gods Must Be Crazy – a concrete symbol of the consumerism and greed simmering within us all and ready to burst out at the slightest provocation. The last two episodes are a bold experiment with an extended story structure, as Kitty is torn between loyalty to her friends and the hatred that burns in her heart over their selfish desires. The climax of the first of the two episodes comes as her friends shatter Kitty's heart fruit, neatly expressing the overriding theme of the show in an embarrassingly heavy-handed manner: our friends are often the only ones who can irrevocably break our hearts, and that love and hate are really only two sides of the same coin...

read the complete review on Toon Zone
more information about this dvd here
buy Hello Kitty - Stump Village - A Place of Fun! (Vol. 1)

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Blue's Clues and Hello Kitty join paws

America's favorite puzzle-solving dog, Blue, is getting together with Hello Kitty, Japan's most famous cat, in a partnership announced Wednesday.

Toys, clothes and stationery decorated with the floppy-eared blue canine and the bubble-headed mouthless white kitten will arrive in stores here next spring under a licensing deal between Sanrio Co. and U.S. licensing business Nickelodeon & Viacom Consumer Products, the companies said in a statement.

Under the deal, NVCP has granted Sanrio the master license for the character that won fame as the star of "Blue's Clues," an animated educational series.

NVCP President Leigh Anne Brodsky said this is the first time her company has joined one of its icons with a counterpart from another firm.

"It's a very exciting idea to have this creative collaboration, kind of East meets West, dog meets cat," she said in a telephone interview during a trip to Tokyo to announce the partnership.

Creators from both sides will work together on products targeting young Japanese women, with an eye to later exporting goods to the rest of Asia and perhaps to Europe and the U.S., she said.

Although tying together mascot characters isn't without its risks, the artistic styles of "Blue's Clues" and Hello Kitty blend well because Blue's creator was influenced by Hello Kitty, Brodsky said.

"Hello Kitty was a tremendous inspiration in the creation of 'Blue's Clues' and has been one of my favorite characters since childhood," said Blue co-creator Traci Paige Johnson.

"Blue's Clues" has ranked continuously among the top five preschool commercial TV series in the U.S. over the last decade. It has generated $ 3.6 billion in retail sales since 1998 and sold more than 35 million books.

Hello Kitty, invented by Sanrio in 1974, adorns everything from diamond-studded jewelry, Fender guitars and digital cameras to lunchboxes, T-shirts and stationery.

Britney Spears, Paris Hilton and Mariah Carey have been spotted with Hello Kitty gear.

Earlier this year, NVCP began selling products in Japan with SpongeBob SquarePants, a yellow square-shaped cartoon character popular in the U.S.

The Japan Times
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hello kitty recall

Takara is being forced to recall specific Hello Kitty dolls which featured a heatable disc that could be warmed and stuffed within the lining to keep kids toasty while resting. Apparently the microwavable pad housed a chemical substance (manufactured by ADEKA) not quite stable enough to handle the heat, sparking a lengthy list of of cases where the liquid erupted from its container and provided an uncomfortable surprise to the poor soul embracing the creature's volcanic warmth.

(via engadget)

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