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The Wonder Pets

I remember when my oldest son was young and I thought I could control everything that went into him, and by extension I thought all parents were really in charge of what their kids watched for ever and ever, no exceptions. And then his younger siblings came along and I realized that if my 6 year old was watching Yu-Gi-Oh, then my 4 year old was watching it too, and my one year old was likely in the room. Now I understood how a 3 year old girl could be into Hannah Montana, now I get how an 18 month old boy can hum Darth Vader's theme. It's all clear to me now. The fun flipside of that is that my older kids can often be caught enjoying some very 'young' shows. Hearing my 9 year old son walk around the house singing Dora jingles or having everyone join in in a good round of Blues Clues (with feeling) can be pretty cute, especially given the other influences out there. And I'm grateful that my older kids, who'd have otherwise been wayy too old by the time it came along, have gotten to enjoy The Wonder Pets. We all love The Wonder Pets. There are hidden clues all over the show that are gratifying for people of all ages, and the graphics (animated flat photographs and colored paper, from what I can tell?) are soothing as well, not jarring like some of the more technicolored computer-generated shows. The show's premise is this: three school pets turn into superheroes every day after the kids have left the little schoolhouse. To songs set to classical music tunes they find out where some baby animal is trapped/stuck/distressed/whatever, and they travel to save it. There's a MacGyver quality to the machines they build, and some basic physics or other little life lessons involved. And then they cap off every episode by celebrating the rescue by eating celery--'this calls for some celery!'--which, I have to say, really has propaganda-ed celery into being something all my kids will eat. Some of their sayings/singings 'this is serious' or 'the phone, the phone is ringing...the phone? I'll be right there' have become part of our family culture. And I've even found myself walking grown friends through the details of the show, some of them are so clever. I'm sure other incredible shows for little kids will come along and we'll miss them completely--now that our attentions are aimed more in the High School Musical direction, but I have to say I'm glad that we caught the The Wonder Pets when we did. One last really great kid's show for the whole family.