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CD Review: The Kartoon KidsVol 2
By Francesco Emmanuel - 02/02/2007 - 06:18 PM EST

Artist: The Kartoon Kids
Album: Vol 2
CD Review: So, once again, there’s a first time for everything, this is my first review of a children’s CD. I’ve reviewed an album written by a child and sung by an adult, I even reviewed one sung by children. But this is a record made, written and sung by an adult specifically for children, ages 2-7. And it’s the second installment, back by popular demand, by parents and kids alike.

As the name suggests, the Kartoon kids are all fictitious characters - with names like the Squeezetoy Girl, Fame Blonde, Poopey Zoo, Tommy Magoo, Cindy Loo, Piggy the Duck, Moo Cha Cha and Banana Bunny – one couldn’t expect anything else.

The idea behind all this started with a voice – Squeezetoy Girl. Toronto Pop singer Kim Esty is that voice. She was asked to sing on the full-length debut of production duo The Boomtang Boys, whose dog was playing with a squeezetoy duck in studio and inspired the dance/pop song ‘Squeezetoy’. Kim sang lead vocals on the song, and did so in a squeaky, cartoonish voice. The song became a no. 1 hit in Canada and the US, and Kim started receiving tons of emails from kids addressing her as ‘The Squeezetoy Girl’
She got the idea to create a group, which she christened the Kartoon Kids. The music was dance oriented, and the characters wouldn’t be adult sounding and preachy, but rather fun and goofy in nature.

According to Kim, ‘The Kartoon Kids are about education, discovering their individual talents, becoming who they want to be, knowing it can be achieved through hard work and perseverance’.

Thus, it is a very light-hearted, happy/chirpy album, with many great sing-a-long songs. Songs like ‘Banana Bunny’, ‘Moo Cha Cha’ have great hooks in the chorus lines, perfect for kids. ‘Marty and the planets’ educate children about the planets in our galaxy and beyond. ‘Holiday vacation’ is a song about heading to the beach and having fun with family and friends in the sun.

There’s a small description of each character in the CD booklet, the idea behind each one is basically be yourself, love yourself and believe in all your goals and dreams.

Kim Esty was born in Toronto, of Austrian heritage; at 16 she joined a cover band. At 18, she recorded some original songs and sent them onto various record companies. Kim soon met Canadian producer Vince Degiorgio, got signed to Vince’s independent label and released several singles including ‘Come On’, ‘Your Love feels like Dynamite’ and ‘Share Your Love’. She also met Canadian artist, producer and remixer Barry Harris and toured with Barry’s group Kon Kan throughout the US, South East Asia, Singapore, Indonesia, Taipei, Korea and Malaysia. Barry also produced a few of Kim’s songs, namely ‘Make you Mine’ and Funky Little Beat’.

Kim had her first hit in the summer of 1994 with ‘Summer in the Streets’ on pop/dance radio charts with engineer/producer Richard Uglow. She continued to release tracks for dance compilations, one of which was Stacey Q’s ‘Two of Hearts’ for the Club Euro CD which went gold in Canada. In 2002, Kim released ‘Yummy Yummy Yummy’ for the YTV compilation, Big Fun Party 2. Allthewhile working on her solo career, Kim continued working on the Kartoon Kid’s material. The album is currently available online.

Kim has big plans for the Kartoon Kids, with such a great response she’s gotten so far from children and parents alike, there’s no limit to what Kim ‘The Squeezetoy Girl’ can do.

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