Monday Morning Smile: "Helium Harvey"

A little imaginative helium-based humor from Daniel Savage for your Monday morning.  It's beautiful and utterly delightful, though I still snicker at the way the helium makes the titular character's pants fit.... less than optimally.

"Helium Harvey" [Vimeo]

Monday Morning Smile: "Fountains of Wayne Hotline" - Robbie Fulks

This is not exactly kid-focused -- OK, it's not kid focused AT ALL -- but I was introduced to this song a couple weeks ago via NPR's consistently entertaining Pop Culture Happy Hour and fell in love instantly.

Power pop?  Check.

References to Fountains of Wayne, a band I adore?  Check.

Nerdy, metatopical song about songwriting?  Check.

So what if it's not kids music?  It's from Robbie Fulks, favorite of kindie artists such as Justin Roberts.  And besides, all my readers whose kids grew up listening to so much awesome pop-rock have got to start learning the basic structures of songwriting somewhere, right?

(Also, please get the Pop Culture Happy Hour feed into your podcast routine forthwith.)

Monday Morning Smile: "The Lion" - Benjamin Scheuer (Escapist Papers)

This is a beautiful song, the title track, as it were, from a new autobiographical stage show from Benjamin Scheuer.  Scheuer's show The Lion will get its American premiere in June, but the video for this song performed by Scheuer and his band Escapist Papers has already won awards.

I would note that the song lyrics feature murder and death and sickness amongst animals.  But so does Babar.  In spite of that, it's probably the most uplifting song you'll hear all week, and the animation from Radish Pictures is gorgeous.

Benjamin Scheuer (The Escapist Papers) - "The Lion" [Vimeo]

Monday Morning Smile: "New World"

There's nothing particularly complicated about this computer-animated video from Oliver Sin.  Except, of course, that it attempts to tell the story of the creation of a new world all the way to the exploration of space.  Features a sweet instrumental accompaniment from Jim Guthrie.  Worth 97 seconds of your time, particularly on a sunny Monday morning honoring a man who envisioned new worlds for all people.

Oliver Sin - "New World" [Vimeo]

Monday Morning Smile: "There's a Platypus Controlling Me" (from Phineas & Ferb)

The show Phineas & Ferb is the secret musical weapon of kids' TV.  Oh, sure, Yo Gabba Gabba! and The Wiggles (and others) are musically-oriented, but the Disney Channel show sneaks in musical bits that are as tuneful (and usually funnier) as anything airing on the youngster channels.  Creators Dan Povenmire and Jeff "Swampy" Marsh write in many different styles, composer Danny Jacob brings it all together production-wise, and the result is, well, something like this.

I've told you about my secret appreciation for all things platypus, right?

Dr. Doofenshmirtz - "There's a Platypus Controlling Me" (from Phineas & Ferb episode "Brain Drain") [YouTube]

Monday Morning Smile: "Space Bruce"

I'm a sucker for a good platypus.  So, I present to you "Space Bruce," a short film from Mehdi Louala, Eva Navaux and Gabrielle Locre.  It'll take you and your kid 91 seconds to watch and I'm sure you'll both be amused at least once.

True story: This was a demo film for Gravity.