Today at work I played a game of Candyland. Yes, that’s how cool my job is. My fellow creatives and I needed a mental break and whipped out this cardboard classic and let loose–well, as much as you can with such a simple game. I mean, have you made a trip down the rainbow pathway to the Candy Castle recently? It could be the most foolproof game in history; I’m almost ashamed to have once found it entertaining. Our game took a total of two minutes. Two minutes is all it took for my friend to make it from the Peppermint Forest, past the Gumdrop Mountains, through the Molasses Swamp, and into the gates of the Candy Castle. The game itself relies on neither skill nor luck–not even chance. I think even an amoeba could play it and win.
Aside from it’s simplicity, there was something else I noticed that disturbed me: they changed the game. The mysterious “they” of course refers to the brains over at Milton Bradley whose sole jobs are to mess with my childhood. To give you a glimpse into the game’s importance to me let me explain that my sister and I used to play Candyland in real life. Basically, we’d pick characters and reenact them in classic toddler role-playing fashion. So these small “changes” completely reject the cornerstones of my childhood fantasy world.
Firstly, Princess Lollipop is no longer Princess Lollipop. She is merely, Lolly. This is a travesty of the highest kind because she was my favorite and I always insisted on playing her. At first, I guessed that perhaps Milton Bradley was trying to make her more “hip” like when they made Dora the Explorer a teenager and gave her long hair and sparkle pumps. But then I realized that poor Lolly wasn’t getting a promotion on the social ladder, her title was actually stripped from her by Queen Frostine who, in attempt to stay young, is now called “Princess Frostine”. On a side note, does that mean she and King Kandy got a divorce? I’d like to play that board game…
Secondly, they removed perhaps one of my favorite–and the cutest–of all the Candyland characters: Jolly. He was plump and purple and utterly ridiculous, but who can argue with that adorable face and those crazy eyes? What did he ever do to deserve a complete removal from the game? The characters don’t even do anything and are purely decorative. This makes no sense, Milton.
Yes, this game is purely a device to teach children color-recognition, but part of me still feels gypped. One of my fellow players couldn’t have said it better, “I won and I’m still mad.”
I encourage everyone to explore the Candyland Wikipedia page to experience more frustration. Click here for that.
By the way, the rights for a Candyland movie have been sold and Adam Sandler is the man behind it. Is this news sweet or sour? You decide. Other than the fact that the game provides next to no starting material for a plot, my only question is what role will Sandler play? Maybe they’ll bring back Jolly…