Last year, YouTube announced that it would be making a concerted effort to combat the influx of weird and disturbing videos passing as children’s entertainment on their site. So far, however, it seems they’re doing a pretty shitty job of it. These repetitive, CGI nightmares are still so prevalent that they’ve begun leaking out of YouTube and into other social media spheres to the point where everyone on Twitter this week won’t stop talking about “Johnny” and his break dancing Papa.
As New York notes in their piece about the bizarre new meme, BillionSurpriseToys, the channel behind the above video, uses the same tactics as the lucrative YouTube channels that came before it. Each new video consists of “low-grade, easily produced CGI of characters performing public-domain nursery rhymes.” The simple, ear worm of a song repeats a few times while the characters do popular dances uploaded from readily available motion-capture files.
The result is the equivalent of a digital train wreck. You hate it and yet you can’t look away. The imagery of a large-headed baby doing a body roll shakes you to your core, but you keep coming back to hear Papa repeatedly try and fit the word “Refrigerator” into a two-syllable meter.
Like... what the damn hell.
Luckily, it seems the majority of the people sharing these videos are adults who are either extracting some joy from the nonsense because they have an ironic distance or because their brains have been broken by too much time online. If you are going to dabble into this haunting world of poorly translated nursery rhymes, we would only ask that you maybe don’t show this shit to your kids. Give them a few years of a blissful peace before exposing them to the horrors of online.
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