Monday, Jan 20, 2014
by Ned Wazowski
Spaceman Jax: Born Hero
If this guy can come out on top, then there must be a chance for the rest of us.
Spaceman Jax is still a perfect hero for kids. He’s dimwitted – absolutely – and causes more trouble with his rescuing than what originally put the various planets in peril in the first place. But as a role model for kids, he’s actually pretty good.
For children, it really isn’t a small world after all. The world seems enormous, and they constantly hear that they are too small. Too small to cross the street on their own. Too small to stay home alone. Too small to make decisions about their lives.
Enter Spaceman Jax. As a grown-up, he should be smart enough to make good decisions and solve problems. But in fact, although he’s got a heart of gold he’s got the intellect of a Ploridian Lunar Beast. Jax is hilarious to audiences of children for this very reason: Despite being so much younger and smaller than Spaceman Jax, kids are so much smarter than he is!
Furthermore, as children struggle with desire for greater independence, it’s frustrating to work under an authority that’s always right. Finding out that Mom and Dad are sometimes wrong and aren’t always in charge can therefore be a huge revelation.
Watching Spaceman Jax blunder his way through one adventure after another probably helps children build more confidence in themselves and proves that sometimes it can be better to trust in yourself rather than depend on someone else.
There is plenty we can learn from Spaceman Jax’s strengths: He is loyal and brave, he is optimistic and generous, and he has self esteem for days. However, the case of Spaceman Jax shows that sometimes we can learn so much more from a person’s mistakes and shortcomings.
And it’s certainly funnier that way.
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