Nature Cat is an American Canadian educational animated children's television series. The series premiered on November 25, 2015 on PBS Kids after the Wild Kratts Christmas special, "A Creature Christmas". The series is aimed at children aged 3 to 8 years old, PBS LearningMedia says it is educational for PreK-4th grade ,following the adventures of four main characters: Fred the House Cat (Nature Cat), Hal the Dog, Daisy the Bunny and Squeeks the Mouse. The show has been nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award for "Outstanding Writing in an Animated Program". The series debut in November achieved nearly 3.7 million viewers, and by March it has achieved 69 million video streams across online platforms. As of October 2016, Nature Cat has been renewed for a second and third season. The second season premiered on January 1, 2018. Then the third season premiered on April 18, 2019. In 2021, the show was renewed for a fourth and fifth season. The fourth season premiered on May 9, 2022.
A Nature Cat preschool sister series focusing on Sadie the Dog is yet to be announced.
The series follows Fred, a house cat with dreams of exploring outside. Once his family leaves for the day, he transforms into Nature Cat, who cannot wait for backyard nature excursions. However, Fred has one problem: he has no instincts for nature. Through the learning experiences of the characters, this series intends to encourage children to similarly engage with and develop understanding of nature, a motif which draws inspiration from the book Last Child in the Woods.
Why It Rocks
- It is very educational about nature, animals, and science in general.
- The show has a talented cast of celebrity voice actors like Taran Killam, Bobby Moynihan, Kate McKinnon, Kate Micucci, and Kenan Thompson, which they were all on Saturday Night Live. Plus, Kate Micucci was on Scrubs, "DuckTales (2017 TV series)", and "UniKitty!".
- The animation, even though it was done in Flash, is still fluidly animated with a lot of lively moments that reminds you of Looney Tunes or Tom and Jerry.
- The backgrounds are beautiful and are very well-drawn.
- The show's music, such as the theme song, the songs sung by the fictional band Dog Gone in the segments between the 11-minute stories, and the songs in the stories themselves such as "Dunes", "I'm Cold Blooded", "Gonna Find That Loony Moon", and "We're Moths" are well composed and catchy.
- The show has a lot of clever comedy and pop culture references, such as a Cameron Diaz reference in the camouflage episode, and a reference to the cult classic series Firefly in "Flight of the Firefly".
- The show is smartly written for a show targeted at younger audiences.
- The characters are all very good:
- Nature Cat himself is a very likable protagonist that never gives up, but he still has flaws to round him out such as his fear of water.
- Hal is a ditz, but he is still likable and funny.
- Daisy is smart and provides helpful information to the group.
- Squeeks the mouse is courageous and sassy.
- It even got its own movie called Ocean Commotion, which was a decent movie.
- The show's second movie, The Return of Bad Dog Bart, managed to top Ocean Commotion, as it reveals a lot about Nature Cat's past, including his long-lost sister Gwendolyn.
- Its Christmas special A Nature Carol was also a good movie and it even had a great moral.
- The characters can be annoying at times, because they never stop saying their catchphrases. In particular, Nature Cat himself can annoy viewers because he always yells his sentences, and Hal is overly obsessed with his feet, and to start of season 2 on a sour note, he wiggles his "doggy toesies," which can get extremely cringeworthy, considering he's voiced by a cast member from Saturday Night Live, a series that aired on NBC.
- The series can get incredibly stale and boring at times.
- Some continuity errors. In "Tide Pool Tough", Nature Cat gets over his fear of water, but in Ocean Commotion, he's scared of it again.
- There are new characters in almost every episode and 9 times out of 10, they never get shown again, similar to another show that aired on the same network 3 years later.
- The episode, "Goin' Batty", was a complete disaster.
- In season 2, Ronald, a recurring character, got a new voice actor: Chris Knowings from Sesame Street.
- The show is getting its own toyline soon. The toys are made by Tomy.