GuineaDad Review: Wonder Pets!
Today we’re going to take a look at a blast from the past—Wonder Pets!
Like we’ve said before, guinea pig centric media is few and far between, and we want to highlight all the ones that depict guinea pigs in a positive light, even if in some cases it’s a little inaccurate.
Overall, Wonder Pets! is a fun and family-friendly TV show about some classroom pets and what they get up to once the school children have left for the day. This is quite similar to how The Secret Life of Pets duology is about what pets do when their humans aren’t home. Just from how common this trope is in animal movies, it seems like we as humans are very curious about our pets’ extracurriculars!
What’s the show about?
Wonder Pets! is an animated children’s show that aired on Nickelodeon and Nick Jr. from December 2006, up until March 2016. Despite its long runtime, there were only three seasons—this is because completing each episode took 33 weeks from script to the final product. A unique feature of this show is that most of the dialogue is sung, which makes it a musical show in some ways.
The show features three animals that are classroom pets during the school day, and heroes when the students leave: Linny the guinea pig voiced by Sofie Zamchick, Tuck the red-eared slider turtle voiced by Teala Dunn, and Ming-Ming the duckling voiced by Danica Lee.
Linny the guinea pig is the leader of the Wonder Pets and the eldest of the three animals. Her hero costume consists of an orange cap and a blue cape. She’s the most knowledgeable of the group, often spouting off fun facts and information about the different animals and environments that they encounter. Because she’s the leader, she’s always emphasizing teamwork and offers praise and encouragement whenever they’re struggling with the rescue at hand, and she’s the one who drives their Flyboat, which is the vehicle they use to get to and from their rescue missions. Her favorite way to celebrate a mission well done is with some celery that she keeps with her at all times!
Tuck the turtle is the second eldest and can be described as sensitive and empathetic, often being the one that has the emotional connection with the animals that are in need of rescuing. His hero costume consists of a sailor’s cap, blue Aquasocks, and a red cape. He usually keeps the animals company while Linny and Ming-Ming take care of the rescue operation and put their plans into action.
Because Tuck has very good eyes and can see things from a far distance, he’s always making observations that the other two don’t notice, often earning himself a “Good eye, Tuck!” from Linny.
Ming-Ming the duckling is the youngest of the three classroom pets and she can be described as bold and confident. She also serves as the comical relief of the show, which can be necessary whenever they’re in “sewious” situations. She speaks with a rhotacism, pronouncing “r” sounds as “w.” She is most known for singing “This. Is. Sewious.” whenever there is more trouble than the Wonder Pets expect.
Each episode follows the same structure, often beginning with the school children leaving for the day. The classroom decor changes often, usually featuring work from the students that also pertains to the episode topic. The Wonder Pets also face some problems when trying to leave for their missions, and solving those problems are similar to those that they face when trying to rescue the animal in that episode’s mission.
The Wonder Pets usually receive their mission by “phone call,” which is a shaking tin can that holds pens and pencils in it. The pets “answer” the phone and are able to get a glimpse of the animal in trouble when they look into the can, almost like a video call.
In episode one of season one, the pets rescue a dolphin that is stuck underwater because she’s tangled in some netting meant for fishing. The Wonder Pets dive into the water to save her, with Linny donning a pair of goggles. Earlier before the pets had left for their mission, Ming-Ming had gotten tangled up in some string. To free her, Linny and Tuck used a pair of scissors to cut through the string.
The Wonder Pets use this previous experience to help them find a way to rescue the dolphin before she drowns. They employ the help of a nearby swordfish, who uses his snout to help cut the net and free the dolphin. After Linny, Tuck, and Ming-Ming surface onto a beach on a nearby island, the adult dolphins thank the Wonder Pets for saving their baby. To celebrate, the Wonder Pets hold a luau where Linny shares her celery with the other three.
What we wish it could’ve done better!
Overall, this show is lots of wholesome fun, and is entertaining while still teaching different lessons about teamwork and problem solving. Guinea piggy media is never perfect. Obviously, since Linny the guinea pig is a superhero and displays hero qualities, she’s a little less anxious than an in-real-life guinea pig. But that’s OK!
We love when the media shows guinea pigs as the heroes and takes some liberties with their personalities and abilities. The fact that Linny can deep dive with just some goggles is amazing! That being said, make sure you don’t put your guinea pig in a pool hoping for them to do the same any time soon.
What’s gonna work? Teamwork! What’s gonna work? Teamwork!
We loved Wonder Pets, espically since it had a ‘piggie leader. Our son ( in his mid 30s) introduced them to us: he found them because of a co-worker’s small children. It’s a blast that you reviewed them. Thank You
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