South African kids' cartoon about DRM

Lauren sez, "Our kick-ass South African sci-fi kids' show, URBO: The Adventures of Pax Afrika has a special episode about the music industry and DRM technology, only in our universe, 'DRM' stands for the Don't Rip Monsters, who really do bite you on the ass if you dare to file-share." Link (Thanks, Lauren!)


  1. I’d call South Africa uber-awesome if it weren’t for the youth’s political apathy and the government’s failure to contain AIDS.

  2. “the youth’s political apathy”

    Yeah, its not like young people have a habit of not voting or not taking a stand in other countries. Oh, wait a minute…

    Also, maybe South African youth are a little afraid of what they’ve seen done in the name of ‘politics’ in their country and others like it?

    In America, for example, politics and activism is seen as boring or geeky. In South Africa, I’d imagine political stuff could have other more (justifiably) negative connotations.

    I could be coming off as presumptuous, though, because I don’t know very much about modern South African culture.

    Anyways, from the parts I watched, this Urbo show tells me *somebody* in South Africa has their head screwed on straight. If a cartoon on the same subject was published in CA/US/UK it would likely take the opposite stance, or no stance at all. Futurama’s “Kidnappster” episode comes to mind (it wasn’t as un-funny or shrill as it could have been, but it entirely missed the point of the issue it was making fun of, like the episode was made by clueless rich white Americans or something).

  3. Lauren sez, “Our kick-ass South African sci-fi kids’ show, URBO: The Rip-off of South Park”

    And here I thought I was seeing things.

  4. From a South African boing Boing fan:

    In reply to previous posts, South Africa being a thriving democracy, young people are not “afraid” of dabbling in politics, nor having their voices heard. Political activism does however have negative connotations in South Africa with the under-class constantly rioting to prove their cause, and the upper-class using quiet diplomacy to less than no avail (alas there is not much of a middle-class to speak of).
    I do however have a strange sense of patriotism
    reading this post. I have always known that media has carte blanche in South Africa, and this is proving it.

  5. UPDATE: More info on the show for anyone interested.

    It’s a sci-fi comedy series (which makes it as much a Star Wars rip-off as South Park, LittleVoice with a smidge of Harry Potter and Futurama in there too).

    It’s weird and silly and irreverent but we do try to take on big issues relevant to kids.

    Not, unfortunately youth apathy in politics, which is true of most countries, not just SA, because our target market of 7-11 is a ways away from that.

    But we have taken on AIDS and why it’s important to take medication as well as eating fruit and veg in an episode when the kids tackle an evil virus monster with a multi-pronged attack.

    We’ve also done disability, dodgy cell phone videos, acne, celebrity, junk food, the war on terror (really), racism, environmentalism, and now DRM through lunatic plots involving mutant sock monsters, burping apedroids, viciously cute fighting toys, a guy-in-a-bear-suit-in-a-shrimp-suit and the staple prerequisite of any kids’ show: lots of giant robots.

    – Lauren

  6. Ths sounded interesting and I tried to watch it but I couldn’t get past the confusing animation and poor timing… it’s so slowwwwww! BUt then broadcasters only commission commercial half-hours. This stuff feels much more like a ten or eleven minute show. Mentioning South Park in the same breath is a bit misleading too – South Park has truly horrible animation but they make a virtue out of it with their impeccable comic timing. Anyone expecting that here is in for a bit of a disappointment.
    Having said that, give it a shot, there are some good bits: the “You wouldn’t blow up a hospital…” schtick made me chortle into my cologne-scented handkerchief so that a small cloud of wig-dust settled around my golden epaulettes.

  7. Keep in mind it’s a kids show, 7-11. So, really, not like South Park at all.

    And, in South Africa, the challenge is that we’re talking to kids from hugely disparate backgrounds – from high income well-educated urbanites to kids in undeveloped rural areas where you have to walk two km to the nearest tap to get water.

    In the market research we did, it was really interesting to see the difference between kids’ perspectives.

    In a scene in episode 1, there’s a minor fender-bender and 10 robot cops immediately rock up on the scene. High income kids from the suburbs picked up that the robot police force was oppressive.

    But kids in the townships (US equivalent of the projects, only even more desperately poor, underdeveloped and crime-ridden) had a very different take. “The police are good. Because they actually came.” It was very sobering.

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