Wonder Pets!, Nickelodeon/Nick Jr.
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First of all, I suppose I should say this show uses like some new kind of animation, called "photo-puppetry," though I must say, none of the animals look photo-realistic to me (though I can't say what they do look like, drawings or CGI or toys or whatever, but they look good, anyway). Promo materials claim the animators manipulate photos of real animals, but I can't quite believe that. Whatever the case, it isn't really important to me. What's important is that it's a really terribly cute and amusing little show. Yeah, it's for preschoolers, but I think it's just adorable, so I've been watching it some days. It's fun.

There are these three classroom pets: the leader is Linny the Guinea pig, and the other two are Ming-Ming Duckling, and a turtle named Tuck. After the kids leave the little schoolhouse for the day (I'm not sure if it's a preschool or kindergarten or what), a tin-can phone sort of thing rings, and the Wonder Pets answer it. It's some animal (usually a baby animal) in trouble somewhere. Well, usually an animal. Once it was a baby tree. Sometimes they've even had to go into a storybook or painting to rescue an animal. Anyway, after they take a call, they get ready for the mission, put together their "fly boat," and face some minor challenge that foreshadows a problem they'll have to overcome on the actual mission. Then they fly off to save the day. I think it bears noting that despite the fact that the show always follows the same formula, it never seems to use stock footage... even if the opening song the Wonder Pets sing when the phone rings is always the same, and the routine they go through before answering it (and when returning after the mission) is basically the same... there are always subtle differences in their actions and surroundings (and when appropriate, the audio), which I think is great.

Oh yes, the songs: most of the time they're singing, and the creators consider each episode a mini-opera, though it may use different styles of music. And there are some simple jokes, and some catch phrases I always look forward to hearing (like "Good eye, Tuck!" and "This is sewious!") And it's also important to note that the Wonder Pets have no super powers, but they use critical thinking to solve problems, and most importantly, teamwork. Oh yes, the show is all about teamwork. Aside from teaching kids about problem-solving and teamwork, and being very entertaining, it also teaches a bit about different kinds of animals and places and stuff. And... I guess that's about all there is to say.


kid stuff
Nick Jr.