It’s not Christmas yet, but don’t tell the Wayans Brothers. The family name made famous by the Scary Movie series is now out to entertain a younger audience. Producer Shawn Wayans says the inspiration to create the Boo Crew characters comes from being a father himself. “We wanted them to be able to watch something that is really entertaining, educational and multicultural at the same time,” says Wayans. The Boo Crew, an updated and urbanized Peanuts gang,Â makes an admirable attempt at all three.
In the 23-minute Christmas Special, the crew go to visit Santa and discover that a young neighbor of theirs doesn’t have enough money to celebrate Christmas. Amidst slapstick kiddie humor and a few jokes adults will enjoy as well, the Crew pulls together and learns the truth ofÂ that old adage:Â ”It isÂ better to give than to receive.” Featuring a diverse cast of characters from all walks of life, the Boo Crew works well as a multicultural kid’s cartoon.
Drawing on a wide array of vocal talent, including Shawn and Marlon Wayans, Charlie Murphy, Countess Vaughn, Kim Whitley and David Alan Grier, the character voices far outshine the old-school animation. But the characters, though borderline-caricatures,Â are sure to bring at least one smile to any viewer’s face. The crew’s leader, D-Roc, is the most outspoken and witty of the charactersÂ and Dirty (imagine a young ODB) is the most memorable -and mostÂ reminiscent of a Peanuts character (Pigpen anyone?).
What The Boo Crew Christmas Special lacks in production quality it makes up for in a clear desire to deliver a positive message to kids everywhere.Â Resisting the urge toÂ become overly sentimental or simple, The Boo Crew also doesn’t insult kids’ intelligence. Some of the jokes are decidedly original, while others are staples of the Wayans brand of comedy. Overall, this isÂ the kind ofÂ Christmas special fans expect to see on Nickelodeon and Nicktoons (where it premiered as Thugaboo: A Miracle on D-Roc’s Street). Whether it will find success in the Christmas DVD market remains to be seen.
Zach’s Rating: B-
Santa’s rating: A-
The Grinch’s rating: D-
To purchase A Boo Crew Christmas, visit CD Universe