I Gotta Go! (No director listed, 2002)
points off: no director listed.
I Gotta Go!, which the (now-defunct) production house’s website claims was at one point Wal-Mart’s top-selling non-theatrical video release, has achieved some minor fame on the Internet thanks to pieces of it being included in the annual Found Footage Festival, as well as going viral at places like ebaumsworld (if you’re not already familiar with ebaumsworld, you probably don’t want to be. Trust me on this one). And with good reason—it’s kind of terrifying. Kids dancing on potty chairs, a diaper-wearing chimp, traumatizing animation… if I fully described this thing to you, you’d probably think I was on about some sort of very, very weird fetish porn rather than a video aimed at the potty-training set. I had nightmares.
BUT…I turned it on in order to torture my seventeen-year-old daughter a few days ago (she finds it as traumatic as I do), and my twenty-one-month-old, who is in the first stages of potty training, ran over and asked me to put him up on my lap, so I did…and for the next twenty-four minutes he was absolutely mesmerized. (He lost interest when the doctor started declaiming, but then that bit is for parents anyway.) The production house—I have no idea who the director was, s/he is not credited on the video, not listed in Amazon’s description, and the video does not have an IMDB entry (as of this writing)—absolutely nailed it as far as putting together a video that kids of this age will enjoy, at least if mine is anything to go by. And I must also admit that the songs are really, really annoyingly catchy. The title track is an earworm that will be stuck in your head for days. Don’t believe me? The Found Footage Festival folks uploaded a ninety-second sample clip of it to Youtube. Search and play if you will, but I warn you: that way lies madness.
Will it ultimately help the bean learn to use the toilet? I have no idea. But he is enchanted with it just the same, and believe me, there is a great deal to be said for anything that will make a twenty-one-month-old child who is full of excess energy quiet down and stay in one place for twenty-four solid minutes. Parents may find it annoying (or horrifying), but as far as I’m concerned, a half-hour of household calmness is worth me wandering around singing “Me potty wotty wotty, me potty wotty wotty” for two or three hours afterwards.
postscript: I’m coming back to this review two weeks after writing it (but before posting) to kick it up a whole third star. Why? Because at least at Goat Central, it works. Since the bean started watching this three or four times a week, he now regularly lets us know when he has to go potty, and more often than not he’s correct. That’s pretty much the definition of a how-to video getting it right. ***
No trailer, but here’s a minute-long clip of “Me Potty Wotty” uploaded by the Found Footage Festival crew.