Saturday, March 13, 2010

How I learned to hate Thomas the Tank Engine and Love Peppa Pig

It's no secret that I hate Thomas the Tank Engine. I hate most moralising children's shows but I reserve particular venom for Thomas despite the fact I loved the stories when younger and have seen a marvelous stage show.

Thomas and his friends are a whiny bunch of disobedient brats; everything about them is gloomy and miserable and tedious. There is no joy and to top it off, every new series has half-a-dozen pointless new characters crow-barred in solely for the merchandising opportunity.

I hate Thomas which is not to say that we don't own quite a lot of Thomas kit. It's unavoidable and part of the reason why I have a particularly soft spot for other, less overtly commercial offerings; 'Pingu', for example, 'Miu Mao' the fabulous Italian claymation cats; and Peppa Pig.

Years ago a friend of mine informed me that her three-year-old son loved Peppa Pig and I was slightly bemused as to why a boy would like a show focused on a pink girl-pig but the moment the spud was old enough to watch TV I understood. Peppa, like Pingu and the cats, is all about fun; there is no harsh moral. Sometimes someone might be a little bit naughty, often things go a bit wrong but there's no breast-beating; only kindness and funny and pigs falling about laughing.

I love Peppa Pig. In fact, I may possibly have just the teeniest tiniest crush on Daddy Pig, as it happens.

We already have two Peppa DVDs - it was Peppa who informed my spud that Santa comes down the chimney; Peppa who showed him that it is OK to jump into a muddy puddle and Peppa who makes him laugh at me every time we hear that Peppa's Mummy loves her computer.

We probably wouldn't have bought the latest DVD however having been given it for review, I have to say that if you have a boy who loves Peppa or who hasn't met her yet, this is officially your DVD. It's called 'Peppa Pig: The Fire Engine and other stories' and in it, Peppa goes on a train, a fire engine, a rocket and there's even a pirate episode. Seriously, all she needs to do now is to go on a bus and an airplane and the spud might never watch anything again. Until he's buying porn on the internet in 10 years time, that is.

Oh, and by the way, the nice Peppa Pig folks have given me an extra copy of "Peppa Pig: The Fire Engine" to pass on to one of you if you can tell me in 20 words or so why you love Peppa (or hate Thomas) and make me laugh in the process - UK format only, I believe.

I only have one copy to give away though so funniest wins, as judged by me and a team of Mummy mates, next Friday.

15 comments:

Gappy said...

I also hate Thomas the tank engine (this isn't an attempt to win the dvd by the way - just sayin) because every story is essentially the same. Someone gets too big for their boots, and then is taken down a peg or two, usually via some self induced calamity. Yawn yawn yawn.

Charlie and Lola rock however. So does Mr Ben.

Sparx said...

Gappy - you are SO right. We love Charlie and Lola too, 'my favourite and my best' as the spud says - but Mr. Ben isn't really around anymore. Or Dylan and the herb garden, or the Magic Roundabout. Or so many others. Sigh

Emily O said...

We're Thomased out in this household. If I choose to hate him I'd go insane so I have to stick with it. My issue with Thomas is most of the characters are male and I'm with Gappy on the stories being very repetitive. We have to read them every night and they're tedious. My four year old and toddler ADORE Thomas though so I think if they get so much from him then I have to go with it. They also love Peppa Pig too. Peppa Pig works on an adult level as well Io think. I'm so pleased to find a fellow person with a Daddy Pig crush. I once admitted to this on twitter and was amazed at the number of people agreeing with me!

Lisa @ Boondock Ramblings said...

Well, I can't win the Peppa Pig DVD, but let me tell you, I am a large fan of her. Um...a big fan. well, you know what I mean. We watch her in little increments on Nick Jr. which used to be Noggin...I had no idea they had full DVDs of her stuff. Maybe they don't in the US, though.

I never thought all that about Thomas. In the end they do usually talk about what they did wrong, so I always thought they had a pretty good message. Hmmm...now I may think differently. Of course I really don't have to worry because Jonathan is totally into robots and superheroes now!

Gringa-n-Mexico said...

Dude for real? My husband is already trying to push Barney on Daisy - I WILL NOT LET HIM PUSH thomas-the-gay-train.

Why do I hate him besides the fact that he's boring? Because I don't have enough brains or time to figure out how to spell "Thomas".
WHY IS THERE AN "H" IN THAT NAME?? Name makers everywhere - get a damn grip and learn how to spell phoneticaly.
Even phoneticaly isn't spelled phoneticaly!!?? DO YOU PEOPLE THINK I HAVE TIME FOR THIS SHIT WITH A COLIKY 2 MONTH OLD!!??

GO TO HELL!

Lorianne said...

Yikes. Could someone please be so kind as to make "gringa-n-mexico" a margarita. Apparently she needs a good cocktail , and a solid 6 hours of sleep

P.S. Thomas blows. I watch that show if I need a sleeping aid.

Sphinx said...

Thomas the tank engine is NOT ALLOWED in this house - I think they all look very miserable, and some of them are even scary-looking! We get CeeBeeBees via satelite, so our schedule is different to yours. My grandson likes "In the night garden" (not currently showing in his TV time slot), "Telly Tubbies", "Peppa Pig", "Waybuloo" (what are they ON? can I have some, please?!!) but his very, very, bestest most favourite at the moment is "Brum"!

Isn't it, darling? Yes, that's right. (He's noding his little head and grinning from ear to ear.)

darth sardonic said...

not bucking for the dvd here, but definitely want to chime in on thomas. seemed to me that someone was always getting "cheeky" followed by doing something moronic that usually ends in a crash or some other disaster that is easily fixed by one of the other engines. then sir topham hatt (what kinda name is that anyway? topham, pretty sure i would have to kick my OWN ass if that was my name!) ends everything by saying "let that be a lesson..." to all and sundry, and then everyone is cool by the end of the show. lots of footage of trains with faces driving through (admittedly) bad-ass dioramas, which i always felt kids would find boring in the extreme.

don't know peppa pig, but pingu, now that show was brilliant! fun, simple, my kids and i would never quit laughing the whole time it was on. there's just something intrinsically cool about claymation penguins who speak a former-eastern-bloc gibberish and get up to shenanigans.

wow, i got a little carried away there. sorry.

Helen + ilana = Hi said...

Wow there's really something to be said for tv free -- which we pretty much were until last year. Back in out toddler years we only did videos-no live tv-and those very rarely. Mouse & Mole were the hands down winners at the time. In fact the boys still haven't let me get rid of the tape.

Sadly teens can drive you nuts with tv. I hate Lost!

Brit in Bosnia / Fraught Mummy said...

Peppa rocks, especially with that snort. Thomas doesn't. The books are too dull. But trainsets, now that is a toy that is worth having, hours of play for the boys, time for a cup of tea for me. I'll cope with Thomas for that!

Annie said...

I just found your blog and needed to agree with you in the hatred of Thomas The Tank Engine! Grrrr. Luckily my 4 yr old daughter doesn't like him either. She does on the other hand, adore Peppa Pig. She can't get enough. We have 3 DVD's (I think) and wants the new one she's just seen. (how did you manage to get to review a Peppa DVD? Well done!)

Have you tried watching Humf? Similar style morally to Peppa, and it soooo cute too.

lady macleod said...

I'm thinking of ordering the Peppa Pig DVD for those tough days where i can't seem t think of anything brilliant to write... sounds very comforting.

Sparx said...

Emily O - I am DELIGHTED to hear I am not alone on the Daddy Pig crush! Makes me laugh a lot to be honest!

Lisa - it amazes me that Jonathon is so into superheroes - Charlie has just discovered spiderman via some branded socks and he's vaguely interested in Buzz Lightyear but that's about it at the moment. Peppa every day for me. The thing with Thomas is that the trains do all the bad things, get the message and then the next episode they do it all again... they never learn...

Gringa - Sloooooooow breaths lady...

Lulu - I couldn't sleep in front of Thomas, it makes me too cross.

Sphinx - Spud loved Brum too for a while - is it still on? I didn't really like it but it's pretty harmless. Waybuloo now THERE's spacey for ya...

Darth - yeah, Pingu is so great. Not sure you'd qualify for the DVD, it's UK only sadly but if you're kids were young enough I bet they'd love Peppa.

Helen - we try to get him to only watch 'safe' things on DVD, sadly since I married there is a TV in my life and my son can now switch it on. I am losing the battle.

Brit - yes, now trainsets are COMPLETELY different! I love the trainset. I also love listening to Charlie try to do the snort, very funny...

Annie - No! I'm going to Google Humf, sounds like a good thing to me...

Lady M - yes, lazy but we do really love it... ah me.

Thanks everyone - I've been away and exhausted, will draw names for UK /EU people tomorrow.

Muddling Along Mummy said...

I've only just discovered Peppa & am a convert not least because she's happy! And wondering how many jobs Mrs Rabbit actually does

Iota said...

This is one of the sad things about not having a preschooler. You get out of touch with new programmes and their characters. I had to watch "In the Night Garden" last time I was over in England, even though I had no children of the right age, just so I knew what people were talking about.

Thomas IS a bit moralising and gloomy, isn't it? I'd never really thought of it like that, but now you mention it...