This turned up on one of my museum discussion email lists, and I had to share it with you for several reasons.
1) Cartoon characters visit a museum and get excited about the artwork instead of running through it, destroying it, or ignoring it, ala Tom & Jerry, Scooby Doo, or any number of other cartoons I could name. (Granted, the fact that it was produced by a consortium of French museums does make it more likely that the art would be more of a focus than otherwise…but it’s still great and models mostly appropriate museum behavior.)
2) In one minute the three characters manage to actually model close-looking and observation of the artwork depicted. One character knows more than the others and helps them look for details, then gives them some context for what they’re seeing. The cartoon gets away with sounding a little condescending, which I wouldn’t really advocate, but otherwise it’s a good model for teachers, docents, or parents to follow when tying in details of kids’ lives with facts about a more distant time or culture.
3) There’s a very “I Spy” attitude to the conversation, which is a game kids love, and which I’ve been tuned into recently due to the upcoming opening of Eye Spy in my section of PEM. I particularly love the last detail of the reflection of the man in the window, since reflections, distortions, and other plays on perception are all over the upcoming exhibition.
4) This is part of a whole series of movies which feature artworks from the participating museums, so you can do a cartoon-guided virtual tour of a bunch of very cool art . Check out some of the others on the Louvre’s YouTube channel, at the “Jeunesse” playlist. (Some of the videos are in French and some in English.) Note, as far as modeling appropriate behavior goes, the characters never touch any of the art, even the really appealing lion with the movable tail. Even I wanted to give it a yank and see what might happen!