Death to Smoochy
Entertainment: +2 1/2
Acceptability: -3 1/2

Robin Williams and Ed Norton star in this dark comedy about dirty politics in the world of childrens television. Williams plays childrens show star Rainbow Randolph who gets caught taking bribes to put some children ahead of others on his show. When Randolph falls in disgrace, KidNet television want a new star whos ethical and squeaky clean. Norton plays Sheldon Mopes, whose pink rhinoceros character, Smoochy, seems to be the only choice left with any moral principles. But Randolph sees Smoochy taking his place and plots to have him face a worse scandal, so Randolph can return to his former glory.

In this satire, even charitable agencies are mob-controlled and extortion used to make deals. When Sheldon wont play the game, his agent, a former network exec, and the charity mob are a bigger problem than Randolph. But Smoochy has made a few friends along the way. Made for the anti-Barney crowd, the film has humorous moments, but Williams character frequently spouts obscenities and one scene has him run through a gamut of slang expressions for genitals. But Smoochy also reminds us of the positive things children learn from characters like Captain Kangaroo or shows like SESAME STREET. Sheldon even makes positive comments about Jesus focusing on his work rather than the perks. Without the frequent vulgarities, SMOOCHY could have attracted a larger crowd.

Preview Reviewer: Paul Bicking
Distributor: Warner Bros., 4000 Warner Blvd., Burbank, CA 91522

Crude Language: Many times Mild 7, moderate 29
Obscene Language: Many times F-word 32, s-word 13, other 24, finger gesture 1
Profanity: Several times Regular 5 (GD 2, G 2, C); exclamatory 2 (OG, OMG)
Violence: Many times - Moderate and severe (man thrown down stairs/ hits head, hit w/wooden spoon, man hits wall, man tackled, hits/ punches, implied feet hit w/hammer, people thrown around room, hit w/pipe, shooting, implied decapitation, gun threat, hit over head w/book, fall from height, vicious kicks)
Sexual Intercourse: Implied once (unmarried couple undressing in silhouette)
Nudity: Near Nudity (man in underwear, cleavage emphasized few times
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: Several times - woman reacts to seeing man partially undressed, phallic shaped cookies, woman flirts with man, numerous references to genitals and promiscuous sex in past, sensual kissing
Drug Abuse: Alcohol drinking, scene in 'methadone clinic' references to drug-using characters, drunken behavior, man chews 'smack' drug,
Other: Man comments about Jesus being focused on his work, character noted for ethics and morals, cynical references to commercialism of children's shows, brain damaged character treated with respect, charities seen as front for mobs, man pours gasoline but stops suicide because of child, character teaches children how to deal with anger, enemy turned to friend
Running Time: 101minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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