There are a plethora of programs on television that children enjoy watching, but not nearly as many that parents both enjoy and approve of, especially from an educational standpoint. When willing to allow screen time, most moms and dads have to be pretty discerning.
Peppa Pig is no exception to this entertainment-disconnect that exists between parents and their kiddos.
Whether liked by mom and dad or not, the Peppa Pig franchise is big. It has surpassed the billion-dollar mark on TV sales and merchandise, so the little ones have definitely made their opinions known. They love that sassy little piggy.
Peppa Pig is a cartoon that follows the precocious young Peppa Pig and her family as they explore the world. Preschool, museums, libraries, family trips, visits with the Queen; this pig family from the UK does it all. And they do it together. Whatever the show may be lacking, it is not quality family time.
The fans of the show claim it to be funny, charming, and entertaining. The animation is bright and cheery, the accented-narration almost soothing, and the energetic characters endearing.
The detractors, however, claim that the children behave poorly at times, are rarely chastised for those sub-par behaviors, and tend to be considered generally annoying.
Is it possible that everyone is right on this?
Let's start with the 10 reasons kids should be watching Peppa Pig...
Whether you find the show delightful or distasteful, women rule the world on Peppa Pig and it is glorious. Mommy Pig is the levelheaded one in her family, solving problems and fixing things when that bumbling Daddy Pig makes a mess. Her mother, Granny Pig, is the same strong, independent variety of female pig.
Miss Rabbit is a firefighter (among other things). Dr. Hamster is a thriving female veterinarian. And the queen - of course - rules the land. In nearly every scenario, the adult female is the one who is in charge and making things happen.
Peppa's community is #goals.
Even if you don't watch Peppa Pig, you've probably seen the "whistling" meme. Peppa is frustrated that she cannot whistle, and she shares this frustration with her best friend via telephone. She takes solace in the fact that her friend cannot whistle, either.
That is, until Peppa tells her pal what whistling is. As soon as Rebecca Rabbit purses her lips on the other end of the line, she immediately emits a whistle.
Is Peppa happy for her friend? No, she is not. She doesn't say a word but instead pushes the disconnect button on the phone.
This may not be the behavior you wish for your child to mimic, but it is entertaining television.
Grampy Rabbit is voiced by actor Brian Blessed - a man with a very, very big voice. Grampy Rabbit is so loud, in fact, that when he mans the town's lighthouse, he doesn't use a horn at all. He simply yells to the boats, who have no problem hearing him whatsoever.
He loves cheese. Writes bad songs. Misses cheese when he's been away from it for mere minutes. Teaches children physical education in his spare time. Did I mention he loves cheese?
Grampy Rabbit brings joy to adults while their kiddos actually watch the pig.
Ah, Pedro Pony. How I love this little hot mess.
When he oversleeps and misses the bus for a field trip, he genuinely says, "Maybe we're early" to his mother. He is completely unaware of his cluelessness. And not only does he start too early during a bike race, but he does it 3 times in a row and yells WHEE! each time.
He wears a superhero costume instead of his PE uniform when his class goes to the gym. He buries his glasses when he and his friends bury treasure in a raucous game of pirate.
Pedro Pony is pure comic relief, and I've never related to a cartoon character on a kid's show more.
This episode is gold. The three granddads - Granddad Dog, Grandpa Pig, and Grampy Rabbit - get shipwrecked on a deserted island. Do they handle it well? No, they most certainly do not.
At the moment Grandpa Pig says that they should save their food, Grampy Rabbit is wolfing down their one and only chocolate bar. He doesn't disappoint when he looks at them with chocolate smeared all around his mouth.
A millisecond later, he asks, "Does anyone else miss cheese?" And then he proceeds to make a line in the sand every time he thinks of cheese.
I believe he ends up with around 64 tick-marks, and they are lost a sea for under an hour.
Miss Rabbit works a lot. I mean, a LOT. Pretty much everywhere Peppa and her family venture, Miss Rabbit is there, happily working behind the counter.
She is a firefighter. A grocery store clerk. She works at the aquarium, the snack bar, and the museum. When Peppa happens to venture to the moon in search of her missing boots (yes - totally normal), Miss Rabbit is there, as well, working in the gift shop. Spoiler: they don't get a lot of business.
It's a gift for adults, this quiet joke that puts Miss Rabbit literally everywhere. She is also a mom, so she is truly the woman who does it all. Not only does she get through that glass ceiling, but she rolls in with a janitorial cart and cleans up the glass.
This guy is like the Ron Howard of kids cartoons. Peppa's narrator adds a lot to the show by saying very little. If Peppa states, "I can do it," he will blithely follow with, "Peppa cannot do it."
Additionally, the man has a smooth English groove that sets the whole tone of the show. I often enjoy this cartoon simply because it feels like I'm being read to. If I close my eyes and listen, Mr. Narrator could very well be reading me a story before my nap.
And since I'm fond of both naps and literature, this dude totally works for me.
Daddy Pig tries hard. He really, really does. But trying hard doesn't negate the fact that he's kind of a joke. He sits on his own glasses when he's trying to find them. He attempts to hang a picture on the wall and ends up having to rebuild the wall.
Nearly every episode is filled with occasions of daddy being a bit of a doof.
It's nice - for a change - to have a family where the mother is the strong, smart one and the father is simply comedic relief. Yes, I want more from Daddy Pig, but it's a refreshing role reversal.
Peppa Pig is rich with hidden jokes, funnies that children won't catch but parents sure will.
When going on a picnic with their families, Daddy Pig and Daddy Wolf are forced to wait for a returning boat. Daddy Wolf repeatedly mentions how hungry he is, the wolf hungrily staring into the face of the pig. It is pure gold.
And when Grandpa Pig takes the children out to his garden after dark to look for critters, Mr. Fox is hovering near the hen house. You know, just to say hello.
There are so many hidden gems in this show. Even if you don't enjoy Peppa herself, the rest of the production makes it worthwhile to watch.
Mommy Pig is a role model, even though she's just a cartoon pig.
She has a career and a family. She's smart and a total problem-solver. Her husband is a work in progress, but she still supports him and fixes all of the messes he creates. And that is a lot of messes.
Not only does she run the house, do the laundry and make the dinner, but she volunteers at the local firehouse as a firefighter trainee.
Where, of course, she is called upon to put out a barbeque fire that her husband has started. Mommy Pig has got it going on, and I, for one, think she's an icon. (Not bacon, but icon.)
And here are 10 reasons it's best to avoid allowing kids to watch Peppa Pig...
It's delivered without malice, and by family members who love him, but the people in Peppa's family have a hard time not mentioning daddy's big tummy. Mommy Pig stays mum on the subject, but Daddy Pig's children find it a hilarious topic and tease him nearly every episode.
And no one - no one - ever tells the children not to say these things.
We all know that kids mimic what they see, and I would prefer my children not think it okay to tease someone. Some might see it as harmless, but any opportunity where we can teach our children empathy is a gift.
Let the pig-man be, kids.
I have a big imagination, and I encourage my kids to use theirs, as well. After all, when is your imagination better than when you're little and don't know all the truths of life?
That being said, the golden boots episode is too much. Peppa Pig has new yellow boots that she adores. When she goes outside to where she left them, they are gone. (Spoiler alert: a duck took them.)
So what do her parents and neighbors do? Well, they all go to the moon in a rocket, of course! Mrs. Duck is surely wearing those boots on the moon. They float around the moon, singing annoying songs until they safely return to Earth.
Yes, they are, in fact, pigs. And yes, pigs enjoy wallowing in the mud.
That being said, this pig family relishes every opportunity to jump in muddy puddles. They talk about it, they sing about it. Jumping up and down in muddy puddles - splish-splosh-splish-splosh. It is the most wonderful thing that these piggo's do every day. Which is fine if you are a pig.
But now my toddler - who is a human, not a pig, jumps in any puddle she spots. Jumps and casts water and mud upon me as if puddle-jumping is a great and noble sport.
It is not. And my eternally-stained white jeans do not think it is, either.
George is Peppa Pig's little brother. Though his age is undetermined, I would put him somewhere around two. He is small and fairly cute, but the pig cries about everything.
A loud noise? He cries. Loses at a game? Cries. If anything in the world is less than perfect for him, tears are squirting out of his eyes and he is squealing like a little...er, pig.
Do his parents tell him to stop? To use his words? Nope. They just go along in their little piggy life, doing whatever it takes to keep his little snout happy. I know two is a precarious age for any child, but come on, piggy parents; do the work.
Because I've clocked a lot of Peppa Pig hours, anytime I see the acronym ROFL (rolling on the floor laughing), I picture this. All of the characters on Peppa Pig fall on their backs when they are laughing.
First of all, they often laugh at things that aren't funny, which is mildly-irritating in and of itself. But when they lie on the floor laughing at things that aren't funny - well, that just makes mommy want to find an adult beverage.
And Daddy Pig's physique always leaves him looking high-centered when ROFL's. I sometimes think How does he get up? And then I remember I've been watching a pig cartoon for way too long.
Again with the need for a beverage.
Granny and Grandpa Pig have a parrot. Polly Parrot. She repeats what she hears, as parrots do, but her bird voice is like nails on a chalkboard, mixed together with the sound of Roseanne Barr singing the National Anthem.
She actually proves herself useful on multiple episodes, sending messages to people at sea and remembering items on grocery lists during a flood, so it probably behooves the pigs in town to put up with her.
She's got a squawk that inspires hunters, though. It wouldn't surprise me if someday, someone accidentally left open a window. I'm not saying I approve or that I wish for it to happen, of course. I just wouldn't be surprised.
Peppa Pig is a bossy little pig. She sometimes says delightful phrases like "I don't want to play with you anymore" and "We're not best friends anymore" when her friends fail to behave as she wishes. It seems like harmless, typical kid TV, but do you want your child to say those things? Probably not.
She also tells her little brother, George, what to do. Constantly. To be fair, Peppa is generally a good older sister. She looks after George and takes care of him. But as she does that, she also peppers his world with bossy, know-it-all directions.
Basically, she behaves like an older sister. All the time. To everyone.
I don't know how long the days are in Peppa Pig's world, but her parents seem to have more hours in theirs than I have in mine. These chaps, in one day, can eat 3 meals, work, play outside, visit grandparents, work in the garden, visit a museum and end the day with a little TV.
I imagine kids watching Peppa Pig probably can't understand why their parents only work, share meals with them, watch a little TV and then retire to bed in a day. Where's all the other stuff?
Mmm-hmm. I can just hear it now. Why can't you be more like Peppa's parents?
When George cries over every little thing, his parents simply do whatever it takes to make him stop crying. When Peppa blows raspberries or burps, her parents don't even seem to notice.
That pig can tease Daddy Pig about his tummy and George can snipe "No!" when presented with vegetables, yet good ol' mum and dad rarely stop smiling. It's as if they're living their best life and not concerning themselves with the long-term effects of their laidback parenting style at all.
It'd be cool if someday there would be a reboot, and we could see how Peppa and George turn out. Teenage Peppa and Tween George; that'd be must-see TV.
Our little Pepp is very fond of making this face. Of saying Ewww, Yuck, and That's icky. It doesn't take much to turn her little frown upside-down. I don't want to say she's a glass-half-full, uber-negative piggy, but she isn't always a ray of sunshine, either, if you know what I mean.
Parents would probably be more willing to let their children watch Peppa Pig if our protagonist was a bit perkier. More wide-eyed and enthusiastic about the world.
Maybe that's why I like her. Peppa is a cynical, curmudgeonly little preschooler who knows what's up and wants things to go her way. When they don't, she's darn-well going to let everyone know.
Same, girl. Same.
Sources: imdb, Nick Jr., youTube, Variety, Daily Motion, Pinterest, Daily Mail.