Rhonda's Movie Discussion

Discussion about movies that have characters with disabilities.

Thursday, October 19, 2006


So, I just want to log a little bit about Timmy of South Park. And of course, I'd love for others to join me in a conversation.

The first time I saw Timmy I laughed right out loud. Then I was embarrassed about laughing. Is it wrong? Is laughing an area that is totally taboo and one that guarantees a ticket straight to hell -- do not pass go - do not collect $200?

In Timmy's debut appearance, the teacher assumes Timmy did not do his homework when his one and only response to any question is "Timmahhhhh." Stan says, "But timmy is retarded." He is chastised and told not to call Timmy names. The rest of the episode centers on whether people are making fun of Timmy. The kids think Timmy is pretty cool. But, the adults are assuming that no one could actually think Timmy is cool - they must be making fun of him. What is the origin of this perception? Is this a generational difference? Is this purely an age difference?

Is this an accurate reflection of real-life? I think so. I've seen many teachers and parents worry about whether a child will be "made fun of" by his/her non-disbled peers. The kids seem to be just fine with their classmate. It is often the adults who read the peer interactions through a lens of protection and pity.

As the Timmy character progresses in future shows - it again led me to some of these crazy "deep thoughts" (not unlike Jack Handey's "Deep Thoughts" on Saturday Night Live). Timmy seems to have some pretty good insights. He also seems very aware of what's going on around him. My conclusion is that Timmy has a physical disability - but I'm not sure he's "retarded."
I think Timmy's receptive language is pretty good. He seems to take in everything around him, comprehend, and even act appropriately in response. It is just Timmy's expressive language that is a bit...shall we say .... limited?

So - what do others think? I think Timmy is a genius who needs a communication board.