The Island of Dr. Moreau's Misfit Toys, Part 2

Earlier I wrote about the Alien Giraffe phenomenon in children's toys.  (Giraffes have horns in real life, not antennae.)  Since then, I've noticed another curious trend: animals with dog noses.

Dog noses look something like this:
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Now, that's a dog nose on an actual dog.  Dogs can and should have dog noses; it is normal, and good, and cute.  But you know what doesn't have a dog nose?

A goat.

For comparison, here's what a goat nose really looks like:
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Not the same.

The goat isn't even that egregious, but how about an even more familiar barnyard animal?
Here is a bull...
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 And here is a bull with a dog's nose and cleft lip:

Now, look to the left of the bull.  See that monkey?  Its nose looks pretty good, doesn't it?
Let's compare:,550x550,075,f.u1.jpg
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Close enough.  But now you know what's coming, don't you?
 Monkeys with dog noses: 
the link that should have stayed missing.

Perhaps I'm expecting too much of the children's toy manufacturers.  After all, we've read about the exploits of Curious George for decades without ever quibbling that he's a chimpanzee and therefore a type of ape, not a "curious little monkey" after all.  Perhaps childhood is not the time to debate zoological taxonomies, or even basic realities of what animals are and what they do; after all, this is a time when a lion and giraffe can be BFFs.

Lesson learned:
Nothing's quite as heartwarming as a cold, wet nose.



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The news that they're making a new film version of the musical Annie dredged up memories of watching the original 1982 film while hiding under an afghan, covering my eyes. 

Now, for all intents and purposes, I really should like Annie.  Heck, I should love it-- I'm a big fan of musicals, Carol Burnett, Bernadette Peters, and Tim Curry--heck, who doesn't love Tim Curry?--but oh, Annie terrified me.

Annie tells the story of the tiny orphan victim of an abusive alcoholic sadist.  Cheery, right?  Along the way, there's animal abuse (the threat of Sandy getting sent off to the sausage factory?), pervasive Orientalist racism (his name is "Punjab?"  Really?), a terrorist bomb plot (drat those Bolsheviks!), and the revelation that Annie's parents were killed in a fire (AaughFire!).

I remember when I cowered during the "Little Girls" musical number, as Miss Hannigan vowed to "step on their freckles," my mother comforted me by assuring me that "in real life, Carol Burnett was actually a very nice, very funny lady."  This led to my (erroneous) years-long belief that my mother was somehow BFFs with the Queen of Television Comedy.

I will say, in Annie's defense, that I'm sure it's hard to make an uplifting musical comedy about the Great Depression.  That, and I'm eternally grateful that the eponymous little red-mopped ragamuffin on film didn't have the same soulless, blank-eyed stare as her comic strip counterpart.

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Lesson Learned:
No one cares for you a smidge when you're in an orphanage.

Annie.  Dir. John Huston.  Perf. Carol Burnett, Albert Finney, Ann Reinking.  Columbia, 1982.

Annie (Special Anniversary Edition)