Wonder Pets - Save the Wonder Pets (2006) Review
(More customer reviews)Not familiar with the Wonder Pets? You're in for a treat. Presented as operettas, these 12-minute Nick Jr. cartoons for infants and toddlers are produced with a live orchestra and feature characters who sing all of their dialogue opera-style. Toss in a surreal cut-and-paste animation style -- think "South Park" done with photos and realistic backgrounds -- and an occasional tinge of attitude and you've got a program that's appealing for parents as well as their kids. Before branching out on his own, creator Josh Selig was a long-time writer for "Sesame Street."
The stories are good, too. Focused on teaching the value of teamwork, they chronicle the adventures of three pets at a preschool -- Linny the Guinea Pig, Ming-Ming Duckling and Turtle Tuck. After the kids go home, these secret super heroes ditch their cages and soar off in a makeshift flying sailboat (the Fly Boat), traveling the globe to rescue baby animals. Along the way they learn interesting science facts. Besides the show's obvious educational value, each of the characters has his or her own intrinsic appeal. Like many toddlers, Tuck loves to give hugs and Ming-Ming pronounces the "R" sound as a "W." Linny, meanwhile, is the oldest (she's 5), the most educated and a food connoisseur. Her catch phrase? "This calls for some celery!"
Debuting in 2006, the show is now the top-rated program on Nick Jr., surpassing long-time ratings champ "Dora the Explorer."
This DVD contains seven "Wonder Pets" stories, about an hour and a half of material. Six are standard episodes of the television program, grouped in sets of two. There's "Save the Caterpillar" teamed with "Save the Crane," "Save the Crocodile" with "Save the Hedgehog," and "Save the Kangaroo" with "Save the Sea Lions." The best of these shorts is "Save the Crane," which takes the Pets into a Japanese Sumi-e painting (simple black strokes on white paper) that's hanging on the preschool wall.
The seventh story is "Save the Wonder Pets," a double-length episode that aired as a Nick special on April 23. This story, though presented gently, is especially dramatic. When our heros try to rescue a baby blowfish, they soon find themselves, "Finding Nemo" like, in the belly of a whale. As the blowfish, a sea horse and a squid pitch in, the Pets' attempts to get the whale to open its mouth include making it a seaweed salad, singing it a lullaby and tickling it. The last one works, and shoots our heroes out of the blowhole to freedom.
As for bonus features, there's not much. Just a four-screen slideshow that introduces each character and their Fly Boat. But it really doesn't matter. The shows themselves are easily worth the money.
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WONDER PETS:SAVE THE WONDER PETS - DVD Movie