Sunday, April 10, 2011
Couch Po-tah-to: Spot-On Children’s Media from Great Britain
She’s cheeky, she’s Britain’s Peppa Pig, the gentle British series about a group of animal friends. Peppa Pig’s the “soccer” of children’s television: wildly popular all over the planet but just catching on here. Nick Jr. just started showing Peppa Pig twice a week, and I’m betting the show will soon demand a daily time slot. And unlike her British cousin, runaway train Thomas the Tank Engine, Peppa and her friends retain their British voices; no dubbing into “American” here and thank heavens! Why not use the show to introduce your child to the concept that there are other countries in the world?
Nick Jr. accurately describes the show as “teaching sharing and caring while nurturing social and emotional development.” Peppa Pig Producer Richard Lewis told BBC Mobile that the secret to Peppa’s success is the show’s support for parents’ values. Peppa shares and takes turns and is a sweet little “gal.” Episodes often end with the entire cast of animals falling to the ground in delight, laughing and rolling about. It’s disarming.
You can watch Peppa Pig on Nick Jr. and there’s a large cache of episodes on YouTube. Older kids can utilize the foreign-language Peppas on YouTube to practice their French, Italian, or Spanish, to name just a few of the languages into which Peppa Pig has been translated.
You can sample from a nice selection of British children’s series at Nick Jr.’s U.K. site at http://www.nickjr.co.uk/shows. Even if these shows don’t catch on in the U.S., you can follow your favorites through any number of Internet portals and of course, on YouTube.
My young daughter loves them, but young kids may need to watch with their folks, as there is drama there. My daughter got sad when Gromit ran away from home in the rain in the short film, The Wrong Trousers. She’s really come to care for that doggie!
The animation is old-school clay, and your big-screen television will reveal the artist’s fingerprints on the characters. Subscribe to the newsletter yourself at http://www.wallaceandgromit.com where you’ll also discover the greater world of Wallace and Gromit. Like Peppa, they’re as big as soccer is in the rest of the world.