A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Pinky Malinky is a series that follows three best friends (one of whom is a hot dog) as they attempt to solve problems around their town and improve their social standing in junior high school. There is a lot of absurdity without real-world sensibility, all of which is played for laughs. Expect to hear some name-calling like "dingbats" and "doofus," as well as some humorous references to Pinky's wiener physique. On the upside, his indomitable spirit perseveres through every disappointment; on the downside, he tends to run the show at home with his parents, who lack the backbone to stand up to his wacky plans. This show's best feature is its occasional creative incorporation of different animation styles.
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- Kids say
What's the story?
PINKY MALINKY is a slice-of-life animated comedy that centers on the antics of an anthropomorphic hot dog named Pinky (voiced by Lucas Grabeel) and his best friends, JJ (Nathan Kress) and Babs (Diamond White). Optimistic Pinky has lots of big ideas -- about replicating his favorite snack food, about adopting an unusual pet, about improving his social status -- and the mettle to back them up. The show is presented in a pseudo reality format (think The Office) in that the characters occasionally talk to the audience in brief confessionals.
Is it any good?
This series doesn't offer much in the way of substance, but its oddly captivating visual effect will attract viewers. It's busy to watch with a bustling pace, lots of moving parts, and intricacies to the characters' appearances and behavior. There's humor and absurdity, and the occasional instance of one friend or another extending unexpected kindness, but it's clear the show's real intent is to impress the audience with unusual animation and flashy imagery. This has the unfortunate effect of distracting from any attempt at story development, but kids likely won't mind.
Pinky Malinky is the entertainment equivalent of the law of diminishing returns -- it's OK in small doses but loses its wow factor after several viewings because of its mostly superficial content. Viewers are left wondering about the stories behind the unusual characters (Pinky is a hot dog, for heaven's sake!) as they're caught up in the mayhem that is his life.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how effectively Pinky Malinky's unusual characters attract and maintain viewers' interest. How does the fact that Pinky is a hot dog influence the show's humor? Why do you think the creators chose that particular shape for him? Do quirky characters and absurd content consistently entertain you?
Pinky's determination often belies his small stature and unusual appearance. Why is it important to not judge someone by how they look? Have you ever experienced being surprised by a person's true nature after making a superficial assumption about him or her?
How does your family monitor and limit screen time? If your time in front of a TV is limited, what shows are your first picks? What attracts you to a particular show? Action? Humor? Music? Character development?
Our editors recommend
For kids who love quirky animation
Themes & Topics
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.
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