ChildCare Action Project (CAP): Christian Analysis of American Culture


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Entertainment Media Analysis Report
A service to our youth through you,
their parents and grandparents, in His name by His Word

Death to Smoochy (2002), R
Analysis Date: March 29, 2002
CAP Score: 26
MinMax: -76
CAP Influence Density: 2.83

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NOTE: If you do not want the plot, ending, or "secrets" of a movie spoiled for you, skip the Summary/Commentary. In any case, be sure to visit the Findings/Scoring section -- it is completely objective to His Word and is the heart of the CAP Entertainment Media Analysis Model applied to this movie.


If Scriptural references appear, the full text appears at the end of the Summary / Commentary likely using a mix of KJV and NIV.

DEATH TO SMOOCHY (R) -- Rainbow is vulgar! Rainbow is obscene! Rainbow is Robin Williams!!!

Distributed by: Warner Bros.
Director(s): Danny DeVito
Producer(s): Jill Besnoy, Doug Davison, Jody Hedien, John Kreidman, Andrew Lazar, Joshua Levinson, Peter MacGregor-Scott, Lisa Reardon
Written by/Screenplay: Adam Resnick
Cinematography/Camera: Anastas N. Michos
Music: David Newman, Adam Resnick
Editing: Jon Poll

Death to Smoochy is a satire claiming all kid's show stars have skeletons in their closets. Randolph Smiley is the reigning star of the KidNet TV network's most popular kid's show, "Rainbow Randolph." Though somewhat conceited and arrogant on the show, he is more than that off-screen. And he is busted in a bar for accepting a payoff from an FBI husband/wife pair to get their son on the show. Oh, no! Scandal in kid's TV!! Introducing Randolph Smiley! Star of the hit kid's show "Rainbow Randolph!" Rainbow is vulgar! Rainbow is obscene! Rainbow is Robin Williams!!! [Col. 3:8]

Vulgar and obscene he was. [Ps. 12:8, Eph. 5:4, Matt. 12:36] Thirty-five uses of the most foul of the foul words. Fifty-eight uses of the rest of the three/four letter word vocabulary. Three uses of God's name in vain with the four letter expletive and 7 without [Deut. 5:11]. And most by Williams. I used to like Williams when he played roles such as the genie in Aladdin and in Mrs. Doubtfire even with its homosexual characters and other somewhat quality programming. But his favor with me plummeted with Birdcage and hit rock bottom with Death to Smoochy. After seeing him in these kinds of films, he will never again be a responsible performer for me. To me his mouth will always be foul now no matter what words he speaks and will always be liplocking with another man. And I doubt I am alone. [Ps. 15:2 - 4]

Wanting a squeaky clean star to wash out the dirt spread by Smiley, the TV network CEO demands TV execs Frank Stokes (Jon Stewart) and Nora Wells (Catherine Keener) to find that squeaky clean star. Stokes and Wells find several kidshow stars but all with skeletons in their closets -- except one. Sheldon "Smoochy" Mopes (Edward Norton), a one-man show of wholesome and proper, the likes of which few have seen in this day and age. He performs as a big purple rhinoceros at kid's hospitals and detox programs and won't even use a potty word. What a man!

Stokes and Wells have found their man. Randolph is unhappy. Unhappy to the point of wanting death for Smoochy. Sheldon is a hit with the kids! But Sheldon will take some shaping to fill the bill. Shaping to accept a lesser presence as Stokes and Wells push merchandise with the Smoochy name, conveniently edging Smoochy himself into the "corner" of the stage. Smoochy is forced into selling all manner of snacks for kids with all manner of unhealthy content. Mopes is an avid health food nut. Merchandising unhealthy snack foods to kids is not within the character of Mopes. Conveniently, along comes Burke (Danny DeVito) with all the answers in the agent lingo. Burke arranges for Mopes to be his own producer of Smoochy. Now Mopes is in seventh heaven, calling all the "shots."

In an underhanded maneuver, Burke implores Mopes to do a kids' ice show. But little does Smoochy know that the ice shows are run by low life bad guys. Y'see, getting Smoochy connected with the bad guys is one of Rainbow Randolph's maneuvers to besmirch Smoochy so Randolph can get his job back. Rainbow is behind Burke's maneuvers to besmirch Smoochy. Rainbow even tries attempted suicide by dousing himself with gasoline and uttering his sob story with a lit match in his fingers.

That this is an R-rated movie does not excuse filth in film ... and this film has its share of filth [Ps. 12:8]. As I said above, there are many uses of many variations of dirty language including God's name in vain AND the most foul of the foul words. There is sexual talk, imagery and objects before children and coercion of them [Luke 17:2]. Williams makes the movie a vehicle for promoting jabs for homosexuality such as asking a man to wear thong underwear and a little smooch between Rainbow Randolph and Smoochy at the end of the show [1Cor. 6:9-10]. There are many more things of unsavory behavior but I will leave them to your discovery from the listing in the Findings/Scoring section of this analysis report.


If needed to focus or fortify, applicable text is underlined or bracketed [ ]. If you wish to have full context available, the Blue Letter Bible is a convenient source. If you use the Blue Letter Bible, a new window will open. Close it to return here or use "Window" in your browser's menu bar to alternate between the CAP page and the Blue Letter Bible page.

  • Col. 3:8 But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.
  • Ps. 12:8 The wicked freely strut about [e.g., create progressively extreme vulgar and vile entertainment with impunity and no consequences] when what is vile is honored among men [when enough people continue to defend it, embrace it, pay for it, enjoy it].
  • Eph. 5:4 Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. [I call attention to Ps. 12:8 and Eph. 5:4 to warn of the creeping desensitizing power of this sort of "entertainment" and just to let you know that God knows about "vulgar" and "obscene."]
  • Matt. 12:36 But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken.
  • Deut. 5:11 "You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.
  • Ps. 15:2 - 4 He whose walk is blameless and who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from his heart and has no slander on his tongue, who does his neighbor no wrong and casts no slur on his fellowman, who despises a vile man but honors those who fear the LORD, who keeps his oath even when it hurts,... [Though I do NOT claim to be blameless nor am I without slander or slur at times, I call on these verses to let you know it is advisable to detest vile people; not hate them but hate their behavior.]
  • 1Cor. 6:9-10 Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

    *******Food for Thought*******
  • 1 Cor. 15:33 (KJV) Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. (NIV) Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character.
  • Jude 4 For certain men* whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord. [*men: anthropos {anth'-ro-pos}, generic, a human being, whether male or female]
  • Matt. 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto [or for] one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto [or for] me.
  • Luke 17:2 It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin. [cause by teaching or example]
  • Ps. 119:133 Direct my footsteps according to your word; let no sin rule over me.
  • John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
  • 1 Thess. 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.

    As always, it is best to refer to the Findings/Scoring section -- the heart of the CAP analysis model -- for the most complete assessment possible of this movie.

    Death to Smoochy (2002) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W):
  • criminal planning
  • threat by coercion
  • coercion
  • beating
  • physical abuse
  • threats to kill, some with firearms, some with firearms to heads
  • planning to murder
  • staging a suicide
  • dead bodies
  • long firearm threat as if a pretense for attention-getting/sympathy
  • preparing for rifle murder
  • attempted murder
  • falling death
  • vigilante justice

    Impudence/Hate (I)(1):
  • 35 uses f the most four of the foul words
  • 58 uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary
  • lies
  • vulgar talk to a baby

    Sex/Homosexuality (S):
  • anatomical references
  • camera angles to force viewer on private parts
  • suggestive eye movements
  • adult in underwear
  • phallus
  • sexual talk and imagery before children
  • use of "jiggy" before kid's
  • vulgar gestures
  • sexual comments, innuendo, talk, insults
  • homosexual references, talk
  • shadows of intercourse
  • homosexual kiss
  • asking that a man wear thong underwear by a man

    Drugs/Alcohol (D):
  • drinking, repeatedly
  • bar
  • booze
  • drunkenness
  • smoking

    Offense to God (O)(2):
  • three uses of God's name in vain with the four letter expletive and seven without

    Murder/Suicide (M)(3):
  • silhouette gunfire murder
  • gunfire murder
  • unseen axe murder

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    NOTE: The CAP Analysis Model makes no scoring allowances for trumped-up "messages" to excuse or for manufacturing of justification for aberrant behavior or imagery, or for camouflaging such ignominy with "redeeming" programming. Disguising sinful behavior in a theme plot does not excuse the sinful behavior of either the one who is drawing pleasure or example from the sinful display or the practitioners demonstrating the sinful behavior. This is NOT a movie review service. It is a movie analysis service to parents and grandparents to tell them the truth about movies using the Truth.

    "There are some in the entertainment industry who maintain that 1) violent programming is harmless because no studies exist that prove a connection between violent entertainment and aggressive behavior in children, and 2) young people know that television, movies, and video games are simply fantasy. Unfortunately, they are wrong on both accounts." And "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence." I applaud these associations for fortifying 1 Cor. 15:33. Read the rest of the story. From our nearly seven years of study, I contend that other aberrant behaviors, attitudes, and expressions can be inserted in place of "violence" in that statement. Our Director - Child Psychology Support, a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist concurs. For example, "Viewing arrogance against fair authority may lead to your kids defying you in real life." Or "Viewing sex may lead to sex in real life." Likewise and especially with impudence, hate and foul language. I further contend that any positive behavior can be inserted in place of "violence" with the same chance or likelihood of being a behavior template for the observer; of being incorporated into the behavior mechanics and/or coping skills of the observer. In choosing your entertainment, please consider carefully the "rest of the story" and our findings.

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    (1) As noted in CAP Special Report-001, "Investigation Area and Scoring Trend," of the six CAP Investigation Areas, Impudence/Hate was the strongest presence in all four movie classifications. It has a strong revelation about the entertainment media.

    (2) The use of the three/four letter word vocabulary without God's name in vain is incorporated into the Impudence/Hate Investigation Area. The use of God's name with or without the four letter expletive is incorporated into the Offense to God Investigation Area. There is no duplication.

    (3) Only portrayal of successful murder or suicide are incorporated into Murder/Suicide. Portrayal of attempts to commit murder or suicide and deaths by police action or war are incorporated into Wanton Violence/Crime.

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