18 September 2012 | iamunmasked
A Fun and Meaningful Holiday Film
As it is very obvious despite his attempts at using fancy words and cute turns of phrase that the previous reviewer is a child that doesn't understand the concept of educational television for toddlers and preschoolers it may be helpful to actually have a review from a parent that has watched this movie with a toddler.
Some people think that Caillou is whiny. Guess what? Children are whiny. He is a very realistic depiction of a young children and how they interact with the world. Television that depicts "perfect" children is not only not realistic but sets actual children up for damaged self-esteem and strained relationships with their parents.
As for this movie, it is a fun way to welcome in the holiday season with a young child. And I say "holiday" very specifically. This is not just a movie about Christmas. There are discussions of other winter holidays and traditions, which broadens a child's world perspective. Saying that a four year old can't benefit from information about cultural diversity and should just be given chocolate is a perfect example as to why this country has become so dull, homogeneous, and unhealthy.
Children thrive when challenged and presented with new information. A four year old is more than capable of appreciating learning about other people and understanding why people enjoy the traditions that they do. My daughter had just turned two the first time we watched it and she was not only enthralled by the story and the music but was interested in the information and asked questions about different cultures and traditions. This is a good thing!! There is no reason to think that children should just be forced into a box of their own culture and ideas and never exposed to those of other people. That only breeds ignorance, fear, and hatred. Expanding knowledge and understanding is how the world becomes a better place and people advance themselves. This starts at infanthood, not when an already intellectually and culturally stunted person is funneled into the school system.
This movie is filled with cute songs that little ones love listening and dancing to, and that actually send a message. Yes, Caillou is wrapped up in the excitement and commercialism of Christmas. That's the point. As he learns about the different cultures and traditions of the season he gains a better appreciation. This is a lesson that all people should learn.
If you don't want your children exposed to a whining child or you feel that cultural education should be limited to only your culture, perhaps you shouldn't be putting your children in front of the TV in the first place This is an excellent movie and a wonderful way to mark the countdown to Christmas with a child.
Also, in response to the highly offensive commentary by the previous reviewer regarding Caillou being bald (by the way, the statement itself was absurd. It is cancer treatments that cause baldness, not the cancer)--the name "Caillou" means pebble in French. His baldness is a visual representation of this name. It is also a means of allowing more children to identify with Caillou as they are not seeing a color of hair, which can be highly alienating for young children. A little bald preschooler represents innocence and opportunity.