Viva Pinata TV Poster Image

Viva Pinata



Animated pinatas are boring and set bad examples.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Cheating is prevalent in the competitive pinata world, and although it doesn't necessarily pay, it isn't necessarily punished, either.

Violence & scariness

The characters are pinatas, so they get hit by baseball-bat wielding children, but they're always repaired to party another day.

Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Not applicable

This is, in effect, a commercial for the related Xbox 360 game.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this animated series is effectively a commercial for the Xbox 360 video game of the same name that's targeted at grade-school students. Storylines are based on competitions and acquiring necessary pinata elements like "candiosity." The characters cheat during their competitions, regularly get whacked by baseball bats, and, frankly, are pretty boring.

What's the story?

VIVA PINATA, which is based on the same-named Xbox 360 title, looks like a video game. Scenes shift quickly, and characters -- including Hudson Horstachio (voiced by Dan Green), Paulie Pretztail (Brian Maillard), Franklink Fizzlybear (Marc Thompson), and Fergy Fudgehog (David Wills) -- move and spin. Episode storylines focus on competition and building up important pinata qualities like "candiosity."

Is it any good?


Viva Pinata has a lively 3D animation style that will be attractive to older kids but off-putting to kids who are used to slower-moving, less-flashy programs. Also, viewers won't find any of the pesky moral lessons that might accompany a program with such a strong competitive element -- the only positive examples come in the form of the occasional supportive friend (who might show that support by sabotaging another competitor).

It's an open question whether the world needs more kids' programming based on video games -- but even if it does, it needs to be better than this colorful but ultimately dull effort. Fans of the game may find it amusing, but Viva Pinata isn't likely to interest anyone on its own.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about whether a video game -- which might be fun on its own -- really needs a TV show to promote it. In those cases, does the show add anything to the enjoyment of the game?

  • If you've played the game, how do you think it compares to the show? How are they different? Do the show and the game have any similarities besides featuring pinata characters?

TV details

Premiere date:August 26, 2006
Cast:Brian Maillard, Dan Green, Marc Thompson
Genre:Kids' Animation
Topics:Magic and fantasy
TV rating:TV-Y7
Available on:DVD, Streaming

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Adult Written byPGarfix April 9, 2008

This is fun

I watched this with my kids over the weekend and really enjoyed it. I'm also familiar with the new game and the two worlds really exist in separate spaces. You do not have to watch the TV show to enjoy the cartoon and vice versa. In fact they are quite different. The game is more concerned with building a garden populated with Pinatas and the management tasks of problems that can arise. The TV show has talking, acting characters which the game does not. Its like watching two separate concepts that share similar worlds and characters but operating at different levels. The writing of the show is clever with lots of puns and humorous situations. Its "aged up" slightly so would think this a series that appeals more to 7-13 year olds, but I'm sure it might even appeal to adults who will get some of the jolks that are a bit over some kids heads. I don't know if this would work for the pre-school set. Its seems like any badly behaved Pinatas end up in a bad way and that seems to hit the right tone. Better written and much more entertaining than Pokemon, I could see this becoming a hit with both younger kids for the bright color and activity and with older kids for the humor. This is something new and interesting in the wasteland Saturday morning cartoons has become. Good to see.
Kid, 12 years old April 9, 2008

This is awsome!

Both this and the game are great! I like the Pretztail & Fudgehog a lot!
Teen, 14 years old Written byramrod95 April 9, 2008

Very interesting and funny

This show is pretty fun..... a little curde but not over the top. Its dosen't have a bad message persay just not so nice some times. No violence. Its good a for a 7 year olds and up.


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