June 22, 2009

Animated Manhattan: Wonder Pets

Part 21 in an ongoing series looking at New York City in animation.

It’s been a while since I’ve posted an entry to the Animated Manhattan series, but I’m bringing it back with a look at the most adorable cartoon to feature New York so far. It’s called Wonder Pets, and it’s produced completely in New York City by Little Airplane Productions.

Wonder Pets uses animated mixed media to tell the stories of three preschool pets — a guinea pig, duckling, and turtle — who leave the schoolhouse after school to save animals in peril. In an episode called “Save the Pigeon,” the pets travel to New York to save a pigeon perched perilously on the Statue of Liberty’s nose.

The episode starts in the schoolhouse, where it’s clear that kids have been learning about New York. Lots of nice New York details can be found in the classroom.

A few more classroom details (including a King Kong reference):


As the Wonder Pets arrive in Manhattan, the music references Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue.


Finally our heroes reach the perilous pigeon, who has fallen out of her nest and is afraid to fly back up.

I don’t want to ruin the ending for you, but I’ll tell you that I learned a valuable lesson about encouragement and believing in one’s self.

As night falls over Manhattan, the Wonder Pets make their way back home:

This show is sewiously the most adorable program I’ve seen in a while, and the New York episode is available from iTunes if you’d like to check it out.


Awww Wonder Pets are so cute! The first time I saw them, though, I was a little bit like “wha? talking guinea pig?” But the illustration is so cute and they give such a positive message, they’re hard not to watch. And they’ve sort of grown on me. :)

…another Wonder Pets has the trio saving a squirrel in Coney Island.

My daughter has outgrown this show, but I used to enjoy watching it and singing along with her. The music is very high quality and well integrated into the show with some set pieces appearing in every episode (“What’s gonna work? Teamwork!”) as well as musical bits unique to each episode. the entire show is done in recititive. There few shows as good as this for the preschool set.

My Nephew watches that (as much as a 1 ½ year old can watch anything).

Out of interest, why have you stopped rating the depictions of Manhattan?

It’s possibly one of the best childrens shows in existence — it’s easy for adults to watch because there’s plenty of humor hidden in it for them, it’s well written, the voice acting is outstanding, and even the music is great. The Nutcracker special is excellent. Now, if they’d just make more episodes…

It’s no “Jacks Big Music Show”, but it’s top-notch kids programming.

I love this section…it’s such a great idea. You should check out “Bolt” - there are some really good depictions of Madison Square park. Plus the pigeons are amusing…

Where’s The Real Ghostbusters from 1986?
The show was set entirely in New York.

what a great kids show…my niece loves tuck the turtle

Terrance - proud hermit crab pet owner

what a great kids show…my niece loves tuck the turtle

Terrance - proud hermit crab pet owner