Oswald TV Poster Image


Witty, gentle, surreal; ideal for preschoolers.
Parents recommendPopular with kids

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Oswald and his friends are a very egalitarian band. Lessons about friendship, risktaking, and following instructions are skillfully and subtly delivered.

Positive role models

Oswald is a strong example of someone who uses perseverance.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Oswald encourages, in its own small way, a daring and adventurous spirit in very young children. It's focused on big-picture lessons -- being willing to try new things, perseverance, following instructions -- but the teaching is subtle and very much a part of the story.

What's the story?

OSWALD follows the daily adventures of Oswald (an octopus) and his friends Henry (a penguin) and Daisy (a tall, fully mobile flower) in Big City. Oswald's dog is a hot dog on a leash, the ice cream vendor is a snowman, and the owner of the diner is a butterfly (and the mother of a caterpillar). It's all gently loopy -- funny to an adult in a surreal way, rather than an over-the-kids'-head way. Oswald is voiced by Fred Savage, and in every episode he sings a sweet, catchy tune about what the gang is doing.

Is it any good?


The animation is slowly paced, as suits the audience -- there are no sudden cuts or jerky movements. Scenes remain static for relatively long periods, but because such care has been taken with the background of Big City itself (houses are shaped like everything from stacked books to ice cream cones, passersby like walking cacti and gingerbread people), it's pleasant to watch, even for an adult. Even the most exciting episodes are handled in a very gentle, calming way -- there may be a giant snowball rolling toward Big City, but Oswald, Henry (David L. Lander), and Daisy (Crystal Scales) are always confident they can save the day. Most parents won't mind sitting down once in a while to share this one with their preschooler.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about each day's adventure in Oswald. Do you think Henry really wanted to try some of the new things Oswald was doing, even though he insisted on doing things "just like always"? If Daisy had followed the directions, would they have gotten stuck? Does Oswald love Daisy even though she's impulsive, and Henry even though he isn't adventurous at all? Why?

  • How do the characters on Oswald demonstrate perseverance? Why is this an important character strength?

TV details

Premiere date:August 20, 2001
Cast:David L. Lander, Debi Derryberry, Fred Savage
Network:Nick Jr.
Genre:Kids' Animation
Topics:Adventures, Friendship, Music and sing-along, Ocean creatures, Wild animals
Character strengths:Perseverance
TV rating:TV-Y
Available on:DVD, Streaming

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Parent of a 2 year old Written byAsterix December 23, 2013

A great show for 2 year olds (and older)!

This is a wonderful tv show for toddlers (2 years and older). We kept our son from watching any tv until he turned two, and this was the first show we allowed him to watch. It's a very calm show, so there's no sensory overload for little ones. There's nothing scary (though my son didn't like one scene where the tree character brought out a radio - still trying to figure that one out). The messages are very positive and well presented, without feeling forced, and are perfect for toddlers (e.g., not giving up; accepting/loving friends that are different; forgiveness). The stories are easy to follow, and still capture the imagination of toddlers. I unreservedly recommend it to all parents of toddlers between the ages of 2 and 5 years of age. If you have Amazon Prime, the Oswald episodes are included.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Adult Written byvolgirl April 9, 2008

Disappointed with language

I think Oswald is an adorable show. I've always been a fan of Fred Savage. However, we have had to ban Oswald in our house. Unfortunately, Oswald's favorite phrase (Oh my gosh!), is not one that we permit our children to say. I'm really disappointed with the writers of Oswald that they would feel the need to have such language in what otherwise is an adorable pre-schooler show.
Teen, 17 years old Written byBigbillyboy August 20, 2012

This was the best show on Nick Jr.

This show is sooooooo witty and funny! It is also a lot of gentle fun for the little ones.This show is about a blue octopus named Oswald,who does peaceful fun things with his dog Weenie and his two friends a penguin named Henry and a sunflower named Daisy.He has more friends,but his closest friends are Henry and Daisy.This is a great,witty,funny,gentle,peaceful,and fun show for little kids (and the parents too! :D)