Television for preschoolers has become a huge market in recent years and animation is a big chunk of the content created for little viewers. Whole channels are now dedicated to entertaining and educating preschool kids, including Nickelodeon’s Nick Jr. Since Nick Jr. doesn’t run commercials, the time between shows is filled with games and music videos like today’s Monday Movie, “Papa Moco Jumbie.”
A lot of animation for preschoolers features very simple visuals, but this charming short straddles the line between the simple and the impressive. The designs for the boy and his father aren’t overly detailed, but there is a lot of flourish to the animation itself, such as the animation of the boy struggling to climb up onto the box, the flapping of the characters’ loose fitting clothing, and the low angle shot of the father walking on stilts, enhancing the boy’s feeling of wonder and pride at his papa’s abilities. The extra care that went into the making of this short piece is what takes it out of the realm of the merely cute and makes it something memorable and special.
The vocals for the song are provided by Khamani Griffin, a young actor who has appeared in a number of live-action and voice acting roles. I haven’t been able to discover who animated the short, so please let me know if you have any information about it. In case you were wondering, a “moco jumbie” is a stilt dancer, often seen at Carnival celebrations.