The Wonder Pets!

 
(i)

 

Kid-friendly mini-operas about teamwork and more.

What parents need to know

Educational value

Kids will learn valuable social skills like teamwork, cooperation, and communicating.

Positive messages

The characters face challenges, solve problems, and celebrate as a team.

Positive role models

The characters are persistent, eager to help others, and work well as a team. They're also very relatable, since their voices sound like real kids'.

Violence & scariness

Some very mild peril when the friends must rescue baby animals in trouble.

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

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this very kid-friendly show is about being part of a team, gaining confidence, and using responsive communication (the original musical compositions feature communication through song, like a mini-opera). It will help preschoolers and kindergartners learn more about working cooperatively with others.

What's the story?

Stars of THE WONDER PETS! Linny the guinea pig, Ming-Ming the duckling, and Tuck the turtle are classroom pets who, after the last child has left for the day, answer a tin-can call from a baby animal in distress somewhere in the world. They instantly fly, hop, or crawl into action by flying off to the rescue in their Flyboat (made from scattered playroom toys). The main characters communicate via song, using real children's voices. Award-winning composers have developed musical accompaniments that match the ups and downs of each adventure and the culture of the area explored.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Even though Linny, Ming-Ming, and Tuck are animals who sing opera and fly in a toy boat, they're very relatable for young viewers. First off, thanks to the preschoolers who provide their voices, they sound like real kids. Also, by using photo-puppetry, the animators manipulated photographs of animals to give the characters realistic visuals.

More precocious preschoolers and some kindergartners may find the fuzzy softness of these three pets, and the show in general, too young for their taste. Too bad, because The Wonder Pets!, which combines adventure, an exemplary model of teamwork in action, and interesting information about different animals in our world, is a brilliant addition to the world of children's television.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the characters' ability to stick with a challenge without becoming frustrated, to work together as a team, and, along the way, to share funny experiences with friends.

  • Which Wonder Pet is your favorite? Why?

  • Specific animals featured in the episodes, such as a baby dolphin caught in a net, may spark discussion about the challenges these animals face in the wild and how humans are intervening to support (or hinder) their survival.

TV details

Cast:Matthew Black, Scarlett Sperduto, Teala Dunn
Network:Nickelodeon
Genre:Kids' Animation
Topics:Friendship, Horses and farm animals, Music and sing-along
TV rating:TV-Y
Available on:DVD, Streaming

This review of The Wonder Pets! was written by

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Adult Written byLadybugs April 9, 2008
 

Good premis, but bad lisp!

My 2 1/2 year old son really loves this show, and I must admit, the premis is very good. He likes to sing the "teamwork" song, and will even act out some Wonder Pets and the songs (teamwork and when they're discovering which animal is in trouble) when he's playing in his room. My only problem with this show is Ming Ming's lisp. When young children are learning to pronounciate clearing, it doesn't help to be watching a duck who says "twee" instead of "tree". This show would be a 10/10 if not for the lispy duck.
Parent Written bywatchdog_mama February 11, 2014
 

Our very favorite show for little ones

This show is absolutely wonderful. It was the first show we felt good about sharing with our 2.5-year-old a couple of years ago. He'd still love watching it, except now we've seen all the episodes! I can't say enough good things about it. The teamwork elements are excellent. The animals are in just the right amount of "peril" (ranging from a dolphin stuck in a net to a puppy who needs to figure out how to use the doggie door). The music is fantastic -- each episode's music is played by a studio orchestra. The dialogue and song lyrics are adorable, witty, and enjoyed by all of us. The structure of the episodes is excellent -- there's a clear pattern to each story, and sometimes deliberate breaks from that pattern, and we think that's a great lesson. Another thing we really love are all the pop culture references and information about various settings. It was so cool when our son heard a recording of Frank Sinatra and shouted, "It's the Rat Pack!" (See: "The Wonder Pets Save the Rat Pack," an adorable band of rats who need help working together.) He saw the fake Eiffel Tower at Disney World and shouted, "It's the Eiffel Tower!" (See: "The Wonder Pets Save the French Poodle.") He knows about volcanoes, New York City, magicians, nursing homes, and circuses, all from the Wonder Pets -- and he hasn't watched in a long time, so this stuff "stuck" really well. And finally, of course, it's extremely gentle, completely nonviolent, reinforces parent/kid relationships while still showing animals being independent, and full of great role models. The wise words of Linny the guinea pig helped us many times while our son was adjusting to his new baby sibling. :o) Our son is now four and watching other stuff (in large part because he's seen all the "Wonder Pets" episodes), but I'd say "Wonder Pets" is still the highest-quality program for little kids that we've seen.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Adult Written byjcarole April 9, 2008
 

Brain Numbing

This is definitely for LITTLE kids. It's brain numbingly dumb - and the noise never stops. The stories are non-sensical - e.g. they worry about a snail drowning while all the animals are underwater to save it (for a long time without breathing apparatus). My daughter thought it was the stupidist thing she'd ever seen. So parent's beware, if you get your kid hooked on this - you only have yourself to blame.

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