Olivia (Preview)

Olivia is a pig, literally. A loveable children’s character created by Author Ian Falconer from his best selling children’s books of the same name where an imaginative little pig named Olivia uses her imagination in every day life. Along with her friends Julian and Francine (her “Frenemy”) as well as her family and pets Perry and Edwin, Olivia creates fun and excitement whenever she can, where ever she can.

Olivia Measures Up finds our title character and her family at an amusement park where both Olivia and Ian learn the benefits and the let downs of height. While Ian wishes he was taller Olivia’s imagination begins to run wild with scenario’s where her little brother outsize’s her. Craftily written in are some facts about growth and nutrition for strong healthy bodies as well as a few ego checks to help kids understand differences in themselves and the positives rather then the negatives of being to short or to tall and everything in-between.

Olivia Plays Hotel is less of a moral fable, though the structure is present, but rather an exercise to help kids stretch the muscles of their imagination. When school is cancelled due to snow Olivia, Julian, and Francine are taken to Olivia’s house to be babysat by Olivia’s Mother. To make her friends feel comfortable Olivia creates a fun and exciting game, pretending to run a hotel for her friends. Will Olivia be able to accommodate her friends in her hotel and most importantly, are the rumors true that this particular hotel is….haunted?

Much in the same way The Backyardigans take characters and lets their imaginations transport them to magical places to tell fun but educational stories, Olivia does the same minus the song and dance numbers. I was impressed with the musical scores for the cartoon which is both fun but well put together. The animation is interesting as well. Its almost a cross between the stop motion animations of Henry Selick and the usual computer generated image technology that has begun to replace the hand drawn stuff from days of old. Kids are going to love the show and respond well to it. Parents will enjoy the short run times and the educational aspects of the stories. Well worth checking out only on Nick Jr. (here in the states). Enjoy.

AJ Garcia
Review by AJ Garcia
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