Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Bubble Guppies

Bubble Guppies

Spring 2013 Television
Ages: 2 - 5 yrs.
Producer: Nickelodeon
Network: Nickelodeon
Rating: TV Y

The Bubble Guppies are a group of fish-tailed friends who attend the same preschool, that just happens to be underwater. Each character is known for a different trait (energy, kindness, shyness, silliness, cautiousness, leadership) and a distinct preschooler point of view. All are curious and interested in learning about what makes the world tick.

Central to each themed episode is their classroom—the lessons, the teacher Mr.Grouper, the students, and the everyday opportunities to learn in, and out of, the classroom.

Each episode follows a similar format: On the way to school, one of the characters encounters an object, person, or situation that sparks conversation among classmates and their teacher. The Guppies learn something concrete in the classroom. They sing and dance. They play outside and go on a field trip. In other words, each episode follows the same arc as many a preschooler's day.

Preschoolers are all about asking questions. Here, the shows demonstrate how fun and rewarding asking and answering questions can be. Throughout the show, the Guppies pose questions to viewers and stop for a few beats while the answers (from viewers of all ages) are shouted at the TV. Learning about the solar system, animals, music and more goes beyond facts (Jupiter is very hot, there are rocks on the moon) and includes counting and sorting, shape recognition, vocabulary.

No, the setting isn't realistic or logical. The environment could just as well be a farm or a big city and the friends could be dinosaurs or kittens. But it's the message not the milieu that makes Bubble Guppies a winner.

Parents' Choice   ©2013 Parents' Choice

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