Photo Credit: Nickelodeon
Olivia the pig is familiar to most parents from Ian Falconer’s brilliant series of books, which succeeds because both kids and parents can recognize themselves in the porcine family of characters. The TV adaptation available now on DVD focuses on Olivia herself, sadly losing the justifiable exhaustion of the adults around her, but the change has been well-executed. Olivia is gloriously, but not hopelessly, self-centered. In some episodes she overcomes that—sleeping in her younger brother’s bedroom to make him happy or realizing that her messy, spaghetti-slurping family is actually appealing to her prissy best friend. In others she doesn’t and she is indeed allowed to steal the spring pageant in her role as cow No. 2. The balance works, and there’s lots of humor for slightly older kids willing to sit down with younger siblings.