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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Pete the Cat is a TV adaptation of the picture book series by James Dean. Pete is a young cat who's naturally curious but also a little cautious about new experiences, so he turns to his friends and family for help in understanding them. The stories espouse positive themes like self-awareness, individuality, effective communication, helpfulness, and trying new things. In Pete's world, friends come in all shapes, species, and personality types, so there's a lot of diversity to embrace. Most important to him, though, is his family, and his parents and older brother are exceptional models of patience and empathy. Music plays a big role in this sweet series and helps emphasize the stories' themes.
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What's the story?
PETE THE CAT is the story of the coolest cat around, a blue feline named Pete (voiced by Jacob Tremblay) who learns a lot about himself and about life by embracing the new things that happen in his own. Each experience inspires Pete to turn to others for advice that helps him overcome challenges. As he processes the advice of his parents (Diana Krall and Elvis Costello) and his helpful older brother, Bob (Django Marsh), he comes to a more thorough understanding of his own feelings and a better grasp of how to use these new experiences to grow and mature.
Is it any good?
Pete's transition from the page to the screen is seamless and joyful. An introspective cat of few words himself, he surrounds himself with chatty and helpful animal friends like Emma (Indie Nameth), Wilson the Owl (Phill Jupitus), and even Grumpy the Toad (Atticus Shafer), whose glumness covers a truly kind heart. They help him learn about himself by sharing with him their own (often quirky) ways and by gently guiding his quizzical nature.
Kids will see Pete the Cat as the kind of friend they'd like to spend time with. He's soft-spoken, level-headed, and always up for new things ... that is, after he figures out what they are and how they will affect him. Because he takes his time learning, the show has a leisurely pace that's really appealing as it follows Pete's discovery process and eventual self-awareness and reminds kids of the value of taking time to process new experiences and information.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how Pete identifies what he doesn't understand and looks for ways to learn in Pete the Cat. In what ways is it hard to know what you don't know when you're faced with something new? Can that experience be frustrating? How do our feelings sometimes stand in the way of our experiences?
Pete is generally cheerful, inquisitive, and empathetic. How do these characteristics serve him well in engaging others' help? What character strengths do you see in his friends and family members that also are helpful? Who are good role models for him and why?
Kids: Who are some of your favorite book characters? Do they star in a TV show or movie as well? How does reading a story encourage your imagination? How much time each day do you spend reading or being read to?
- Premiere date: September 21, 2018
- Cast: Jacob Tremblay, Elvis Costello, Diana Krall
- Network: Amazon Prime Video
- Genre: Kids' Animation
- Topics: Book Characters, Cats, Dogs, and Mice, Great Boy Role Models
- Character Strengths: Curiosity
- TV rating: TV-Y
- Available on: Streaming
- Award: Common Sense Seal
- Last updated: March 13, 2020
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