I wonder if it’s possible for children’s television to ever be anything but [Neo-Capitalist fairy tales]—considering how much money is required to produce television.

I think so, yes -- especially as kids get older (see Adventure Time, Steven Universe, Hilda). And, while many shows I've found fit the pattern that I described, I think that some break the mold, or at least problematize it. 2 examples of this are the Magic School Bus and a show called Tumble Leaf. Tumble Leaf is most interesting to me because it seems to take place in a nearly post-apocalyptic setting that is absolutely awesome. Shaun the Sheep is another interesting example, where, without dialog relationships are all implied, leading to a show more in the vein of the Looney Tunes built around slap-stick hi-jinx.

There are also a number of web-based shows that I've been keeping an eye on lately -- mostly distributed over YouTube which is its own sort of Neo-Capitalist nightmare -- and I wonder if there is where we'll see the next Sesame Street or Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood?

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