Not since I was a child myself have I ever watched so many cartoons. When my son became old enough to watch TV and understand some of the programs that are on, suddenly I became the expert on everything Disney, Nickelodeon, and Sprout TV. I don’t remember when exactly it all began, but Max and Ruby on Nickelodeon became one of his favorite programs. Whenever I need to pop in a DVD for him, I ask him, “what would you like to watch?” as I show him his array of kids DVDs and the jumble of colors and animation jumping out at us. He would always answer sweetly, “hmm, Max and Ruby”. And as always, Max and Ruby wins the prize as one of his favorites. My son never tires of watching Max and Ruby live on television, pre-recorded on television, and on DVDs and I can certainly understand why because the show has unwittingly became one of my favorites too. And yes, as I’m sitting here typing that sentence, I think to myself, what had happened to my incessant need of watching soap operas everyday or my Smallville and Gossip Girl? Well, I suppose becoming a mom changed my views of what engrossed me on TV and why those salacious shows were so addictive. I don’t mind the change of program scenery because I still enjoy watching cartoons and animation and revering in the innocent childhood moments.
But what’s so special about Max and Ruby you might ask? Well, for starters, it’s a charming show about a (somewhat) bossy bunny sister and her lovable but mishievous little brother and their daily encounters with simple problems and rewarding solutions. Ruby is the ever-so-patient bigger sister bunny who always ends up sacrificing her day for her little brother’s enjoyment. Max, the super smart and super adorable little bunny brother is always getting in the way of Ruby and her friends plans but is also one step ahead of their game in each episode. But what I find most endearing is that when Ruby unwillingly gives up a favorite toy or activity to appease Max, towards the end of the show, Max always ends up reciprocating Ruby’s kind intentions. Thus, a concealed message becomes apparent – that no matter how much you may get your way, you should always reciprocate the kindness. Max isn’t bad by any means, he’s just a playful little bunny who seems to be a lot more intelligent than any bunny his age. He’s insightful well beyond his current age of 3 years old and it shows in his good-natured antics and mischiefs.
Max and Ruby didn’t begin on Nickelodeon. No, in fact, the characters of Max and Ruby began with Rosemary Wells who is the creator of the characters and writer and illustrator of the storybooks. Some of the storybooks correlate with the television series and whenever we read one of the books at home, my son always remembers and comments on the similarity. He’ll say with a surprise delight, “Hey! I have that book!”. It’s always fun to be able to read a book and watch the live action part of it – it makes the book even more memorable and enjoyable. As Rosemary Wells commented on an interview with Nickelodeon, “Max’s toys are much funnier when they move in the show”. And indeed his toys are funnier because it seems as if they have a life of their own and they seem to either obey Max or tease him. Either way, it’s incredibly fun to watch the interaction between Max, Ruby, their grandmother, their toys, and their friends. And although my husband and I wonder where the parents are, it doesn’t really matter because in most animated shows, you don’t see the parents because the shows are trying to teach kids how to solve problems on their own in a similar situation. And they do have their grandma, who is always so loving and generous to her bunny grandchildren.
If you’re interested in Max and Ruby, you have to visit Nickelodeon’s website: http://www.nickjr.com/max-ruby/. The site itself has a dazzling collection of all of their shows on Nick Jr. and there are fun activities, games, and even videos of their past and current shows you can watch for free. We love printing out the coloring pages and activities because to a child, whenever there’s a connection between what’s on TV and what is tangible in real life, everything becomes more meaningful and significant.