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Wonder Pets: Save the Beetles
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this gentle and entertaining caper of three heroic classroom pets is buoyed along by their trademark operetta song style with a heavy Beatles influence. The three tiny pets know they're not tough or big, but are equally sure that working together as a team, they'll be successful.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
This special edition of Nick Jr.'s Wonder Pets animated series finds the three classroom pets responding to a call for "help" in British accents and perfect four-part harmony. Linny the Guinea Pig, Tuck the Turtle, and Ming-Ming the Duckling must find a way to help four beetles stuck in a yellowish submarine, far away in the kelp beds of Liverpool. Employing everyday objects from a brightly colored preschool classroom and a big dash of teamwork, they board their Flysub and head to the rescue.
Is it any good?
Visually and musically, Wonder Pets has a unique and captivating style. Mixed media animation incorporates photographs of real animals with more traditional animation styles, while much of the dialog is sung in operetta backed by an orchestra, rather than spoken. This time around snippets of best loved Beatles lyrics are sprinkled throughout the dialog and riffed upon in the songs for a cute effect. Combined with the winsome personalities of the pint-sized heroes, young kids will root for the pets to complete the challenge of the simple story lines.
The reassuring message that teamwork can make up for a lack of size and toughness is something that preschool-age kids will be able to relate to; the fact that the characters speak in childlike voices is a nice way of making that message even more accessible. A bonus episode features the Wonder Pets nurturing a classroom piglet, and would be a good way of helping prepare a child who is going to become an older brother or sister.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about pets in the children's classrooms or their own pets at home. Can you imagine those animals sneaking out to do heroic deeds at night? What toys might they use to get around, and what superskills might they have? How do the Wonder Pets use teamwork to solve problems?