Sagwa the Chinese Siamese Cat TV Poster Image

Sagwa the Chinese Siamese Cat

(i)

 

Wonderful series based on Amy Tan's kids' book.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Gentle, uplifting moral messages focus on family and making good choices. Themes include curiosity and empathy.

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

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Sagwa the Chinese Siamese Cat not only introduces a taste of Chinese language and culture, but it also often centers around Chinese moral lessons, such as respecting elders, making appropriate choices, acting honorably, and looking after the good of the whole. This series can be appreciated by all audiences.

What's the story?

Based on a book by Amy Tan, SAGWA THE CHINESE SIAMESE CAT is set in an Imperial estate, where Sagwa (voiced by Holly Gauthier-Frankel) is the middle child in a family of cats. She plays with her siblings and sometimes verbally jousts with them, but she always takes care of her conflicts in a responsible way. Sagwa's grandparents are held in the highest esteem and treasured as role models -- Sagwa's family embraces individuality while encouraging family harmony. This series presents a thorough introduction to another culture: Chinese characters are shown, Mandarin Chinese is sung and spoken, mythological animals such as dragons are referred to, and the food, dress and customs are Chinese. Sagwa's best friend, Fu Fu (Rick Jones), is a bat whose name in Chinese means "lucky bat," and her grandfather (Neil Shee) is called "Yeh Yeh," which is an affectionate term for grandfather.

Is it any good?

QUALITY

This program seeks to culturally enrich its viewers and its beautiful visuals are a calming treat for the sensitive viewer. Sagwa the Chinese Siamese Cat doesn't attempt to appropriate another culture -- it actually immerses itself in its own, down to the tiniest details. The brief interlude between episodes -- called "What about you?" -- features real children discussing their interests and ideas. Such fortitude makes this program much more than yet another kids show -- it's one worth exploring with your kids.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the Chinese cultural lessons in Sagwa the Chinese Siamese Cat. How are the clothes and customs the same or different form your own?

  • How does Sagwa show what it means to act honorably? Why respecting your elders is important?

  • How come family is important everywhere, in every country throughout history? How does the family in the show demonstrate this?

  • How do the characters in Sagwa the Chinese Siamese Cat display curiosity and empathy? Why are these important character strengths?

TV details

Premiere date:September 3, 2001
Cast:Holly Gauthier-Frankel, Oliver Grainger, Rick Jones
Network:PBS
Genre:Kids' Animation
Topics:Book characters, Cats, dogs, and mice
Character strengths:Curiosity, Empathy
TV rating:TV-Y
Available on:DVD
Award:Common Sense Media Award

This review of Sagwa the Chinese Siamese Cat was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Teen, 14 years old Written byCSM Screen Name... April 9, 2008

Great Intro to China

This show is a great introduction to Chinese culture without being preachy. It teaches important Chinese values and encourages kids to learn about other cultures. Chinese words, food, customs, and martial arts are introduced.
Teen, 15 years old Written byarthur16morgana January 19, 2011
I LOVE THIS SHOW SO MUCH!!! \MY MOM EVEN LIKED IT!! I LEARNED HOW TO WRITE THE WORD RAIN IN CHINESE FROM THIS SHOW.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Adult Written byTimTheTVGuy February 27, 2013

Wonderful show that takes me back to my childhood.

This show was PERFECT.I loved everything about it.The animation,the acting,the charm,the theme song,just awesome.I loved this show,and I still do.Sagwa FTW.

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?