Sunday, March 29, 2009

The nasty truth about Miss Spider and friends




I guess they ran out of cute, lovable animals to anthropomorphize about the time “Miss Spider” was created.
“Miss Spider’s Sunny Patch Friends” is one of those animated children’s TV shows I have to endure as the father of two youngsters. The show follows the adventures of a family of bugs living together. The clan is led by the gentle, kind-hearted Miss Spider, voiced by the sexy Kristin Davis of “Sex and the City” fame.
Among the adopted “children” living with Miss Spider and her spider kin are a bed bug, jewel beetle and a dragonfly. The community of bugs they live with includes a stink bug, a praying mantis, earwigs and carpenter ants.
In real life, these aren’t the most adorable animals. Spiders and praying mantises are stone-cold killers of other insects. Bed bugs are nasty little blood suckers. And stink bugs are just plain gross. (See photos above.)
If Miss Spider ever snapped out of it and realized that she was a predator, she and her family would devour most of Sunny Patch in a day. The survivors would be rounded up and eaten by Dragon, the dragonfly, and Mr. Mantis, the praying mantis.
That would give little kids nightmares, sure. But maybe they’d learn something about the animal kingdom.

The “Miss Spider” cartoon (2004-07), airing on Nick Jr. and Noggin, is based on the children’s books by David Kirk.
"Miss Spider" artwork from Noggin, a property of MTV Networks, which is a unit of Viacom International. Spider photo from Wikimedia Commons. Praying mantis photo from Flickr site of Martin LaBar. Bedbug photo from the Scavenging blog.

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