Too Cool For School & Pete At The Beach
Begin To Begin & Three Bite Rule
Another Cat’s Shoes & Emma’s Weird Song
Magic Sunglasses & Sandcastles
The Case of the Missing Cupcakes & Bedtime Blues
The Band’s First Gig & Quest!
Pumpkin Pageant & Trick or Treating Ghost
Adapted from the series of picture books with the same name, Pete The Cat is a charming show aimed at young kids managing to capture the essence of what made the books such a hit in America. With a mixture of musical numbers, relatable life lessons and a distinctly vibrant aesthetic, Amazon Prime’s latest animation is sure to be a hit with the little ones.
Split across 7 episodes, the 22 minute run time features 2 stories told in a digestible 10 minute segment. After the title credits, Pete The Cat begins each story with the narration of one of Pete’s (Jacob Tremblay) cool friends, Neville (Don Was). This guitar wielding hipster oozes charisma as he introduces us to the show and what the current episode will be about. From dealing with anxiety to making new friends, Pete The Cat does a great job presenting its morally sound episodes in a way that never feels contrived or forced. The length of each story is just about long enough to convey the message and highlighting the benefits whilst avoiding feeling too long and disengaging children whom the show is clearly tailored for.
The characters are distinct enough to stand out and a clever first episode introduces us to the main cast of characters in an engaging way. Hyperactive Sally Squirrel (Juliet Donenfeld), French/Canadian Emma The Pug (Indie Nameth), Grumpy Toad (Atticus Shaffer) and Pete’s brother Bob (Django Marsh) all show up throughout the series and their wildly different personas help to give the show some much needed energy next to Pete’s relatively quiet demeanour. All of these characters, along with narrator Neville, are impressive in their roles and really suit the roles they’re given.
The episodic format works well too, with each unique enough to stand on its own while Pete’s band and band-mates show up numerous times as a recurring theme, helping to tie the series together and keep a sense of progression going. As a parent, there’s some decent educational material here to help kids in a friendly and engaging way. Our personal favourite episode was 3 Bite Rule which discusses trying new foods (and in particular bananas) by using a 3 bite rule. It’s simple, easy to understand and all the while helped through the use of catchy, upbeat musical numbers.
Throughout the series numerous different issues crop up including Pete’s anxiety over writing a new song for the band and fear of the water and in particular, surfing. If there’s one gripe here it comes from the over-use of anxiety and fear to propel the life lessons which does feel a little worn out by the end of the series. It’s not a deal-breaker but this recurring theme is one that may or may not resonate with kids depending on their confidence level and in turn, determine their engagement with the show.
With the series specifically tailored for young children, there isn’t much appeal here for adults or older children to watch alone although seeing the characters brought to life with the same art style in the picture books of the same name certainly helps brings a little nostalgia. With important life lessons and a constant stream of catchy musical numbers at its heart, Pete The Cat is a charming little show and one well worth getting the little ones hooked on. Whilst other shows like Cupcake & Dino manage to nail mass appeal across different audiences, Pete The Cat is much more content radiating its cool vibes on young children and despite a slight over-use of the same theme, does an excellent job.