13 episodes broken up into 3 separate segments.
There are some absolutely bizarre children’s TV shows that use jumbled dialect to strike it rich. From Teletubbies and its nightmarish cousin In The Night Garden to the grotesque Larva, there seems to be no end to these projects that kids just seem to gravitate toward.
Never one to miss a trick, Alien TV is the latest CGI animation for kids looking to capitalize on this craze. The main premise sees three aliens exploring Earth, trying to understand how different items work through a series of scattered gargles, “mee-moos” and grunting.
To be fair there is English dialogue but it’s generally confined to the end of each segment to summarize what the aliens have learned – which is usually inaccurate and amusing to play up the comedy.
The basic structure of the 20 minute episodes see 3 aliens, Ixbee, Pixbee and Squee, touch down on Earth and try to work out how different activities or items work. These segments are broken down into 3 different long-running gags, which generally see the aliens misinterpret what they’re supposed to do.
With no dialogue to capture older kids’ attention, Alien TV instead turns to physical comedy in a bid to grab the little ones. Unfortunately, the various long shots and muted colours are unlikely to have the desired effect.
With the attention turned to creating realistic CG animation, our main alien character models use three different shades of green. I can’t help but feel it may have served the show better to use the three primary colours – red, blue and yellow. This, combined with a lot of saturation and colourful effects, may have been enough to help this stand out.
Instead, the main source of different colours come in the form of a tablet which shows diagrams and static images surrounding how to use these items.
Overall, Alien TV is a show that’s almost certainly going to be lost in the kid TV shuffle. There’s so many weird and wonderful entries in this category that Alien TV doesn’t do enough to stand out. In its desire to try and capitalize on the babble crazy, this is ironically the show’s biggest Achilles’s heel.
Unfortunately this isn’t a particularly great educational tool either, so it can’t even fall back on that. Instead, Alien TV is a moderately amusing but ultimately forgettable animation. Is there enough here for kids to be entertained? Perhaps, but I can’t see this dethroning the juggernauts of this genre anytime soon.