Picks and Pans Main: Plus

updated 08/27/1990 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 08/27/1990 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Parents: Do we sense the beginnings of an ominous trend? Last winter a cartoon terror named Bart Simpson crashed the pop-culture scene, and his antiadult (nay, anti-everything) ways were embraced by an entire T-shirted generation. At the same time America's Funniest Home Videos emerged with its own irreverent appeal; it's now the No. 1 show among kids. And this summer, a slingshot-wielding 7-year-old from hell named Junior (played by Michael Oliver) popped up on our movie screens as the title character in Problem Child. To the consternation of most moms, dads and critics, the film became the season's surprise hit, hauling in $31 million in its first three weeks of release. Can't youth find a more edifying role model on the nation's screens? Ah, turn to the videos department. There the best-seller is that sweet sea-dweller Ariel, the Little Mermaid. Take that, dudes!

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