What Is It About Rodents and Children's Entertainment?

On December 15, G-Force will be released on DVD. Not only is it chock full of stars like Nicolas Cage, Penelope Cruz, Steve Buscemi, Tracy Morgan and Jon Favreau, but it’s also chock-full of rodents. Government trained, spy-equipment-toting guinea pigs, to be exact. Whatever the species of rodent, I’ve found that children are fascinated with them. Not real rodents; those scare the &^*% out of most kids. However, if you fluff up their fur, throw some cute clothes on them, and put a chubby-cheeked smile on their faces, the kids become smitten.

Unlike the pests that have you dialing Truly Nolen, TV and movie rodents tend to be portrayed as smart, funny and capable leaders. Let’s look at the early pioneers of rodent animation: Mickey Mouse, Mighty Mouse, Jerry -- all heroes in their own right. Chip and Dale also entered the Disney scene with their scampish humor, while Stuart Little and Fievel won the hearts of America with their sweet dispositions. It’s rare to see a rat actually cast as a rat, like Templeton in Charlotte’s Web, yet even he helps save the day.

The vermin legacy is strong. Little talking rodents in miniature clothes charm the kids every time. Toys like Zhu Zhu pets are selling for four times their list price on Amazon, and they’re said to be poisonous. There’s just no stopping those furry pests. So, I’ll be picking up a G-Force DVD and I’m sure I’ll see you at Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel.

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