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

Bubble Guppies

Bubble Guppies

Spring 2014 Television
Ages: 2 - 5 yrs.
Producer: Nickelodeon
Rating: TVY

Bubble Guppies first premiered on Nickelodeon in 2011 and this 3D CGI-animated half-hour program follows the adventures of a young group of mermaids and mer-men. A preschool serves as the main setting for Bubble Guppies and these cheerful little fish play and learn in an underwater world called Bubbletucky.

The preschool setting allows storylines to explore a wide range of topics as the guppies put on plays and take on challenging projects. They often leave the classroom for field trips, too, traveling from museums where they learn about ancient Egypt to archeological sites where they dig up dinosaur bones. Each little Bubble Guppy has a unique personality—from drama queen Deema to cautious little Nonny—with confident guppies Molly and Gil leading the way. Goldfish-like creatures called Little Fish tag along to help explain some of the informational content to little viewers, who receive frequent invitations to shout out answers to quiz-like questions.

This series is laced with bright animation, upbeat music, and cute little characters who speak in bubbly little voices. Very, very young children will probably eat it up the same way they gobble sugary candy. The story content is interesting—but it does suffer from a lack of thematic connection, a fact that may bother parents who prefer programs with a stricter focus on math and literacy skill-building. But the Bubble Guppies takes a broaden-their-horizons approach, happily exploring the world and the many random (but no less interesting) people and things that populate it. One episode focuses on ancient Egypt; another teaches kids about insects; still another teaches kids how veterinarians care for pets. You never know what the lesson will be when you show up for Bubble Guppy preschool . . . but you can rest assured that the fish are always friendly and your kids' curiosity will be rewarded.

Gina Catanzarite   ©2014 Parents' Choice
Gina Catanzarite is an award-winning television producer, writer, teacher, mom and media consultant in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She began her career in 1987 and counts 9 Emmy awards, 26 Emmy nominations, a Matrix award, two Pennsylvania Broadcaster's Association Awards, 8 Telly Awards, and a screenwriting grant from the Theatre Association of Pennsylvania, among her professional honors.

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