Death To Smoochy Review

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When Rainbow Randolph is fired from his job as a children's TV presenter after a bribery scandal, he goes slowly insane. His replacement is Smoochy, a puffy purple rhino - and Rudolph decides to do whatever it takes to get rid of Smoochy and win back his place in the kids' hearts.


Once upon a time, Robin Williams was funny. No, really. Then he submerged himself in a quagmire of sentimental sludge. But with this scathing black comedy, which regrettably died a box office death in 2002 in the US, he rediscovered the knack, as a homicidal former kids' presenter who plots to kill his rhino-suited replacement, Ed Norton, reminding us that he doesn't just do dramas.

Director Danny DeVito overcranks the grotesque camera angles, but this combines spot-on satire of kids' TV and some funny set-pieces – including Smoochy's inadvertent appearance at a Nazi rally. It deserved a better reception than it received.

Bold and deeply messed-up, this is a great lost gem unjustly overlooked at the box office. Rediscover it.