The photo-puppetry style of animation used to create the Nick Jr. series Wonder Pets! isn't the only thing special about the show, as any mom who's made the acquaintance of Ming-Ming Duckling, Linny the Guinea Pig, and Turtle Tuck will confirm faster than her fidgety 4-year-old can insist on a bigger-kid show. Beyond the gently imparted messages about teamwork and compassion, what kicks the show up to Dora and Diego levels of likeability is its music. Each episode is a mini operetta--listen past the preschool voices of the crusading main characters, and you'll hear a 10-member live orchestra lending the proceedings a serious-music-lover's vibe; for moms who weren't completely sold on the merits of intro to Mozart discs from series such as Baby Einstein, this represents another chance at cultivating appreciative ears. The lyrics of the sweet-natured songs, which come straight from the tube, help too: "We'll come to set you free/So you can pee!" the Pets squeal delightedly at a pent-up puppy on "Wee-Wee, Pee-Pee, Tinkle." If only transitioning out of Pull-Ups were as joyful a journey ... -Tammy La Gorce
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