Walter & Tandoori

TV review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Walter & Tandoori TV Poster Image
Eco-aware series introduces environmental concepts to kids.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Educational Value

The show raises issues that affect the environment in creative and kid-friendly ways. While no solutions are posited, the characters' experiences can inspire kids to think about how their own actions could help or hurt as well.

Positive Messages

The series introduces viewers to matters of ecological concern, including air pollution, whale hunting, and industrial waste. In each case the characters experience the negative effects of these practices and find a creative way to expose how they harm the environment.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Walter is a doer, an inventor whose mind is always working to identify things that need improving. Even when he can't change the behavior or fix the problem, he goes out of his way to shed light on why it should be done. On the other hand, those who are responsible for the environmental infractions are designed to appear greedy and selfish.

Violence & Scariness

Some crashes and bumps, but no lasting injuries.

Sexy Stuff
Language

Rarely name-calling like "losers."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Walter & Tandoori is a Canadian animated series whose characters -- a man and his chicken friend -- discover the effects of various environmental troubles on a daily basis. From small matters like littering and untended pet waste to larger concerns like oil slicks and space debris, kids see how regular people, wildlife, and sensitive ecosystems suffer the hazards of careless actions. While many stories highlight bad behavior and effects, others focus on positive ecological practices like composting and recycling. Kids see that even small changes can have an impact on combating environmental pollution and other concerns (a good thing!), but the show rarely presents other sides to the stories. As such, parents should point out the reality of how and why these environmental concerns exist and what steps are being taken to improve them.

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What's the story?

In WALTER & TANDOORI, inventor and fix-it guy Walter and his sidekick, a chicken named Tandoori, experience ecological concerns during their everyday activities. For them an occasion to eat out opens their eyes to the reality of genetically modified food, and a trip to the beach brings them an arm's length from industrial waste floating in the ocean. Though these kinds of troubles are too big for Walter to fix himself, he always manages to find a creative way to bring awareness to the matter and a short-term solution to its effects on him.

Is it any good?

Using hyperbole and humor, this series introduces kids to environmental issues in simple ways that resonate with their understanding of the world. The stories don't overcomplicate topics like global warming and noxious carbon dioxide; rather they present them in context that's easily understood even by young kids. Even with Walter not speaking a discernable language (he uses series of noises but few recognizable words), viewers have an easy time identifying the problem, realizing its negative effects on people and the planet, and appreciating that Walter always does everything in his power to make a positive impact on the situation.

But there's another side to Walter & Tandoori's simplistic stance on what often are multi-faceted, real-world issues, and that could leave kids with the false impression that every one of these concepts is one-sided. When Walter gets irate at a neighbor who's using noisy machinery to do yardwork, it's implied that Walter's right to silence supersedes his neighbor's right to tend to his personal property. Commercial fishing practices take on new emotion when Walter befriends the fish caught in a net and harasses the fisherman to release them without care that he's depriving him of his livelihood. The bottom line? This animated series raises some important issues for today's eco-aware kids, but it needs a reality check to tell the whole story. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about cause and effect and how it relates to environmental concerns raised in Walter & Tandoori. Is there a need for the practices that cause the trouble Walter discovers? Are people helped by these practices, even if they create other problems? How do we strike a balance?

  • Is it realistic to assume one person can make a difference in matters like these? Even if you can't make a big change, why is it important to make small ones? Have you ever been inspired by seeing someone else improve their circumstances?

  • Kids: How are we influenced by what we see on TV? Do you think this show is designed to affect your thoughts or behavior in any way? Have you seen other shows or movies that have done so?

TV details

Themes & Topics

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