This is a new animated show on Nickjr that chronicles the adventures of Zack, his duck Quack and their friends. It sounds like every other cartoon these days but it’s not.
When I first started to watch with my son the graphics turned me off. They were all angles and strangely drawn. But then I realized that they were all supposed to made if paper! The characters all live in a pop-up book world.
The characters a not all sweet and nice either. They all have their moments of selfishness or resentment which often gets them into trouble. In the end they understand their mistake by way of experiencing the consequences if their actions.
Another thing that makes this cartoon different is how the character must deal with problems. In most cartoons, especially Disney shows, the character simply wants a certain thing and it’s conveniently there to solve their problem. Imagination only goes as far as what is predetermined.
In Zack and Quack when they wish to accomplish anything they must pull a pop-up tab. What they want is not always what they get. Often they get something strange popping up and they must adapt their plans to the materials they are given. Imagination takes on a different light. It’s more like real life where you must adapt to what you have not just magically always have what you want.
I also like that the characters stay in their world. They don’t feel the need to always talk to the audience. I know that some shows like Blue’s Clues and Dora have really helped kids learn but not all cartoons need to be in that format to engage their young audience. Sometimes you can learn just as much by following the adventure and watching from the outside.
I quite enjoy watching this show. It’s funny and imaginative and often thrilling. Such as when the duck pulled a tab that turned the nice river into a raging torrent with a waterfall looming and the characters had to use some quick thinking before going over the edge. If they made more shows like this I might not mind watching children’s television.