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Death to Smoochy

Threat advisory: Elevated - Significant risk of entertaining activities

Movie propaganda

He's big, he's blue, he's Smoochy... and he's got to die.

This dark comedy set in the dog-eat-dog world of children's television programming is the tale of Smoochy, a loveable big purple rhinoceros character. The guy in the big foam suit, Sheldon Mopes (Edward Norton), who plays Smoochy finds himself targeted for assassination by Rainbow Randolph (Robin Williams), a former kids show star who got fired for taking a bribe and now pins his wrath on his successor. The spark that ignites Randolph's wrath is the revelation that Sheldon is now dating the second in command of children's programming Nora (Catherine Keener), who is also Randolph's old flame.

Persons of interest

  • Edward Norton .... Sheldon Mopes
  • Robin Williams .... Rainbow Randolph
  • Catherine Keener .... Nora
  • Danny DeVito .... Burke
  • Jon Stewart .... Stokes
  • Harvey Fierstein .... Merv Green
  • Hank Azaria
  • Jon Stewart
  • Pam Ferris
  • Salma Hayek
  • Adam Resnick .... Screenwriter
  • Danny DeVito .... Director

Cinematic intelligence sources

Intelligence analyst

Special Agent Matti

Theatrical report

An odd little film with black humour and the death of one of the good guys. Death to Smoochy is also full of overacting on the part of Robin Williams. I know that children's TV hosts are like that but Robin goes wa-a-ay over the top off-screen, too, as the evil, alcoholic, greedy, murderous, closeted homosexual. Edward Norton is also larger than life but has the advantage of playing one of those really intense guys you hope won't talk to you at your school reunion, so his overacting is more excusable.

The premise - what it's really like working in children's TV - makes for an interesting juxtaposition between the syrupy on-screen stuff and the dog eat dog commercialism off-screen stuff. Unfortunately it's been done before, albeit in different genres. However, if you like seeing grown men pretending to be fuchsia rhinoceri, Death to Smoochy is the film for you.

Legal note: a character mentions Barney so that the studio can't be sued for defamation even though Smoochy really is all about the evil purple dinosaur. The same technique was used regarding Bill Gates in Anti-trust. Hmmm... funny how you never see them in the same room at the same time...

Media intelligence (DVD)

  • Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1
  • Languages: English
  • Picture: Widescreen 16:9
  • Special features:
    • Behind-the-scenes
    • Commentary: Danny DeVito, Tass Michos
    • Deleted scenes
    • Easter Egg
    • Gag reel
    • Galleries: Stills
    • Ice show
  • Subtitles: English

Security censorship classification

M (Medium level coarse language, sexual references, medium level violence, adult themes)

Surveillance time

109 minutes (1:49 hours)

Not for public release in Australia before date

Film: Undated 2002
DVD rental: 8 January 2003
VHS rental: 8 January 2003
DVD retail: 8 January 2003

Cinema surveillance images

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