Suggested Servings of Fruit

Saturday August 17, 2013

Apparently this short film featuring the Despicable Me minions has been online for years. But I only saw "Bananas" after Despicable Me 2 was released. As the name suggests, the minions get very excited about the prospect of eating a banana, but there's only one to be had.

If you haven't seen it yet, have a look:

Around the same time the video showed up for me on Facebook, my mom snagged some minion toys for a family party. They included a minion holding a banana who, when you push on his arm, says "Banana!" between giggles.

At some point, Steve said it was nice that the minions' fruit obsession might lead to some kids eating healthier. I agreed - Yes, yes, those suggestible children could certainly benefit from this pro-fruit message - and filed his observation away in the "children's media" section of my brain.

Then Steve went away for a weekend, and I went grocery shopping by myself.

You know where this is going, right? I don't usually buy bananas. Apples, yes. Pears or peaches or strawberries, depending on what's in season.  But they were just there, being all yellow and appealing...

Me, a minion, and our bananas.

Sports Candy!

I really should have seen it coming.

Not long after university I was sharing a house with some friends, and somehow we started watching a kid's show from Iceland called LazyTown. It's about inactive kids who are inspired to get moving by the joint efforts of new resident Stephanie and local superhero Sportacus. Meanwhile, in a wonderfully contradictory plan, villain Robbie Rotten works very hard at trying to get everyone to be lazy again.

The show - which mixes live action with puppets and CGI - is full of ridiculous songs and hilariously over-the-top performances from Robbie, so naturally we thought it was fantastic. Since the point of LazyTown was to promote healthy living, there was a heavy emphasis on the excitement of eating fruits and vegetables. If I remember correctly, that's all superhero Sportacus ever ate.

Here's a YouTube montage of a few relevant scenes:

Sportacus and friends referred to all fruits and vegetables as "sports candy," so it wasn't long before we were doing the same.  It was a joke, of course, and my friend Peter and I would do things like announce "And now, SPORTS CANDY!!! Who's with me?" before eating an apple.

I actually remember the moment when I said something along those lines and, as a I opened the fridge, realized it wasn't a joke anymore. I was eating way more fruit than I used to, and I was genuinely excited about it.

Now if only the Minions would guest star in a LazyTown music video with a catchy song, I'd never need to remind myself to eat healthy again...

Post-Script: Return to LazyTown

When I was writing this blog post I learned from the LazyTown wikipedia page that there are new episodes being produced after several years of hiatus. That would explain the up-to-date LazyTown website, the official LazyTown Facebook page, and the videos of Sportacus hanging out with Michelle Obama. So if you've got kids who need some enthusiasm for fruit and veggies, or if you're an adult who could use the same and appreciates the absurd, be sure to keep your eye out for Sportacus and friends.

Here's one more taste, just for fun. Thanks to Peter, this song was my morning for alarm for a year or so: