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IF YOU GIVE A MOUSE A COOKIE Celebrates Encouragement, Friendship And Sacrifice

Photo from IMDb

IF YOU GIVE A MOUSE A COOKIE Celebrates Encouragement, Friendship, And Sacrifice

By Movieguide® Contributor

IF YOU GIVE A MOUSE A COOKIE is a series based on the popular book series of the same name. Season 1 is available on Amazon Prime Video and stars Mason Mahay as Oliver, Roger Craig Smith as Mouse, and features other characters such as Moose, Pig, Cat, and Dog living with their human companions. In each episode, there are problems that Mouse or another character must solve, often to help friends.

The show follows Mouse and his friends through the lessons, work, and play of childhood and highlights how they can use their gifts and talents to improve each others’ lives. Even though it takes up his time, Mouse is willing to help others. Mouse is resourceful and usually makes the right choice, even when there are other things he wants to do or things he must give up. Pig, Cat, Moose, and Dog are also virtuous, creative creatures, and often they solve issues together as a group. The core of the story and what keeps these characters together is their support for one another.

More than anything, the show establishes the importance of friendship, generosity, and even intentional sacrifice for the love of others. One character always ends the episode by saying a variation of, “And if I give you a cookie, what do you think will happen next?” This statement not only promotes imagination but the generous giving of time, energy, or possessions. It subtly implies that one gift and one act of generosity leads to another.

The humans also take care of their animal friends lovingly. The show contains many other virtues, such as prudence, temperance, love of learning, and problem-solving. Characters show grace when mistakes are made and often comfort and encourage their friends.

Despite its moral and positive worldview, the show consistently mentions yoga, which Pig endorses numerous times. That being said, characters only hold poses and the scenes never last more than 30 seconds at a time.

Other themes in the show include light environmentalism. Characters do things like pick up trash. This is part of the story and is viewed in a wholesome way. Overall, the show has a Biblical worldview with light Hindu and Buddhist elements due to the yoga in the show.

The content of the show is lighthearted. Infrequent language includes “gee” and “goodness” as well as “great lords a-leaping” and “holy cow.” Violence includes nothing worse than characters falling on the ground, and they are never hurt for more than a second or two. At the beach, some guys are shirtless and some women wear bikini-type clothing. It’s not a focus, and most of those characters are in the background. Most of the foreground characters wear more modest clothing. There is some light lying in a few episodes in the show, but the truth is told by the end most of the time. There’s a positive reference to not snacking and driving, but in another episode, a character takes a photo while mid-air in a car.

The production quality of IF YOU GIVE A MOUSE A COOKIE is fair to good. The animation is faithful to the book’s drawing style, although objects jump in some parts. The camera angle, framing, and movement are good to fair most of the time. The sound editing, though, is crisp, clear, and delightful to listen to, enhancing the story. The dialogue can be average, but in some places, it shines, depending to some extent on the episode. The writing is sometimes surprisingly unpredictable and fresh, particularly when the characters must physically construct something to solve a problem. Sometimes, the things they build wouldn’t work in real life.

Overall the story presents its themes well, with good animation, a moral worldview, and goofy cartoon elements. IF YOU GIVE A MOUSE A COOKIE has only a few minor questionable elements in the show and ultimately promotes a strong moral worldview about friendship and loving one another.

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