Pinky Malinky: Everyone’s Favourite Weiner
The dawn of 2019 brought us many things; an end to the god-forsaken time warp that was 2018, a new wave of Brexit talks, and an animated sausage with a catchy theme tune. The newest release from Netflix, a collaboration with American TV network Nickelodeon, is an animation unlike any other, while being reminiscent of so many. Think Spongebob Squarepants meets The Amazing World of Gumball, meets Bob’s Burgers. The result is… spectacular.
If you’re anything like me, you missed the mounting build up to the release of this long anticipated show. In fact the first time many viewers would have become aware of the show was it appearing as a newly added Netflix series. Behind the scenes however, this production was years in the making, originally announced as due to air back in 2016. Well, good things come to those who wait!
For those without kids, or who are much better at regulating screen-time than me and mine, Pinky Malinky is a lovable cocktail sausage with an unwaveringly positive attitude and curiosity for life. His unbridled optimism lands him in all manner of sticky situations, including creating a misguided duck hoax that forces him to craft a replacement from paper mache; and spending a day trying to create the ultimate online video, complete with jaunty sailor hats, cute animals, a far too catchy rhyme about walking, and a faux moustache.
With his best friends Babs and JJ by his side and the support of his parents and teachers, Pinky Malinky makes the world a brighter place, just by being himself. And this is where the good stuff comes in, because unlike the body-shaming, brattish cartoon pigs and the heavily gendered problem-solving pups that provide the bulk of child ‘entertainment’ these days, Pinky Malinky is a show equally as well considered as it is bananas.
Take Mrs Malinky, a WOC and outspoken matriarch who gives hugs as big as her smiles and owns the local gym-cum-bakery, Crumbells. Meanwhile, Mr Malinky is a stay-at-home-Dad; red headed, softly spoken and full of wisdom, he loves a cup of tea and is suspicious of modern technology.
Interacial, reversed gender-role, non-traditional parental figures? Yes please!
This theme carries throughout the show, throwing conformist expectations to the wind. Another great example is the character of Babs Buttmann: originally animated as an onion, later as a caucasian boy, then finally as Babs, a super-cute, petite black girl. Crucially, the outfit for this character didn’t change throughout. That’s right, she’s a girl and isn’t wearing pink, not even purple, or yellow! Drink. It. Up!
Societal constructs aside, there’s yet another element to what makes this show great. Unlike the majority of ‘zany’ shows, this one provides a moral in its stories. Ok, sometimes that message may be overshadowed by the dance numbers and gaudy imagery, but it’s there nonetheless.
Whether it be the power of friendship, the importance of kindness, accepting people for who they are, or sharing big emotions (RIP King Sackenquack), Pinky gives us a welcome reminder that we could all do with being a little less wound-up, and a little more weiner.
You can catch all episode of Pinky Malinky Season 1 on Netflix UK.