We roared with laughter after reading the recent roasting of children’s book classic, Good Night Moon by comic and writer Raquel D’Apice. In the hilarious takedown of the bedtime staple, she makes some seriously astute observations about the GNM bedroom (why is there a “totally ignored existential mouse” just sitting there around two cats?).
This got us thinking about another bizarre children’s book classic: Curious George. Could we put the 74-year-old book about a curious little monkey ripped from the jungles of Africa and transported across the ocean to live out his days in a city zoo (wow… just wow) through a barrage of adult scrutiny? Yes, we could and to no one’s surprise, we found it’s also kinda warped.
1. The Man with the Yellow Hat must be killing two birds with one stone: looking for monkeys while blasting his glutes with that serious squat move.
2. Um, no commentary necessary.
3. The Man with the Big Yellow Hat keeps his rifle next to his bed (probably keeps his money under his mattress and sleeps with one eye open, too). Plus, he’s smoking a pipe in front of a little monkey. Um…
4. George spots a mutant seagull (that is one big, honking seagull even if you don’t take the wing span into consideration).
5. George falls overboard and two seamen save him, except the one on the right refuses to put down his pipe. He’s probably thinking, “I don’t get paid enough for this crap.”
6. George disembarks the ship with a small red bag of belongings (wait, what belongings?) and holding his papers (wait, what papers? Monkeys don’t have passports, do they?). Top left: dude smoking on a pipe; smoking on a pipe because the next shore leave is a helluva long time away, mate…
7. George’s first meal outside of the jungle is an anti-climatic bowl of soup. There’s also a bottle of vino on the table—hello, little monkeys shouldn’t be drinking wine!
8. They shouldn’t be dipping into the tobacco, either. Seriously? Who approved this? Why so many product placements for pipes?
9. The Man with the Big Yellow Hat went all the way to Africa to get George but did not have the foresight to hit up Gap Kids for PJs? And why does he need PJs anyway seeing as he’s been strutting around stark naked all this time (but he must be clothed for bed)?
10. George’s bed is directly behind the bedroom door breaking a ton of Feng Shui principles. Also note the random doctor-style bag at the foot of his bed. What happened to the (equally mysterious) red bag he carried off the ship? There is only one plausible conclusion to be made: someone is running drugs.
11. The Man with the Big Yellow Hat makes a phone call at a green desk, sitting in a green chair, next to a yellow wastebasket. Why does he live in a home decorated by the team at Dole bananas?
12. This is where things get wacky as The Man with the Big Yellow Hat simply disappears. Is George just another latchkey kid left to his own devices until the parental unit comes home? So. Wrong.
13. George accidentally calls the fire department and they send a giant fleet of firemen to a house call they know nothing about because George doesn’t communicate in human speak. Surprisingly, none of the firemen are smoking a pipe.
14. A dynamic duo—the number 10 of firefighting dynamic duos, in fact—catch George and take him away to prison! Sh*t just got real. The number 1 is holding on to the phone (by its cord?) for reasons still unknown.
15. George is locked up in the slammer for crimes against humanity AKA accidentally calling the fire department. He’s got a cot and a stool and the mice are eating his daily provisions. One bonus: that is one spacious prison cell. Someone could sublet that prison cell and make a tidy little rental income.
16. George tricks the guard and escapes off the roof. Why is there a random cat there? Is it a cat-cat, like, “meow-meow!” or an anthropomorphic cat? Because if it were the latter, it would be all, “Be careful on those wires you crazy little monkey you!”
17. Still no sign of The Man with the Big Yellow Hat, yet George comes across some children buying trinkets from The Balloon Man. Why is The Balloon Man outfitted like the cabaret version of Clint Eastwood’s character in Fistful of Dollars? Why?
18. Top left: where did that random dog come from? Is that a dog-dog, like, “woof woof!” or an anthropomorphic dog? Because if it were the latter, it would be all, “Be careful with that balloon you crazy little monkey you!”
19. George goes on a wild ride over the city after grabbing The Balloon Man’s helium-filled balloons. The story claims, “George was frightened,” but look at that monkey’s face! Looks like he’s having the time of his little monkey life! He’s avoiding midday traffic. He’s not only curious, he’s also a freaking monkey genius.
20. The Man with the Big Yellow Hat (who wears the same outfit day-in and day-out, or maybe just has seven of the same yellow outfits, or maybe just did laundry and we caught him at the beginning of a new cycle… unlikely) finally turns up. Where the hell have you been?
21. George is taken to the zoo at last. He looks happy even though he does not have his own bed, home-cooked soup, or after-dinner pipe. Who needs those conveniences anymore? Not this guy. The other animals are treated to balloons because that’s what animals ripped from their natural habitats and confined within a few city blocks of a man-made faux jungle want: multi-coloured, helium-filled balloons.
Yes, kiddies. That’s what we all want from life. But, hold on tight, and don’t float away you crazy little monkey you!