Doc McStuffins had the opportunity to repair Winnie the Pooh’s injured tummy in a special crossover episode that aired last month, according to DisZine.
— Brown Bag Films (@BrownBagFilms) January 18, 2017
The episode, which aired on National Winnie the Pooh Day, otherwise known as January 18, saw Doc McStuffins and some of her toy friends magically transported to the Hundred Acre Wood, where they met Eeyore, Piglet, Tigger, and, of course, Winnie the Pooh himself. Unfortunately, Winnie the Pooh rips his tummy on a branch, so he and his friend go back to Doc McStuffins’ world, where the toy doctor does an excellent job of repairing the rip.
Disney’s Doc McStuffins has been renewed for a fifth season, and its renewal has brought relief to many fans and parents who were initially concerned about the fate of the show.
Doc McStuffins is broadcast on the Disney Junior network in various countries around the world and is based on Dottie “Doc” McStuffins, a helpful African-American girl who repairs broken toys by using her magical stethoscope. Dottie is inspired by her physician mother, and she tends to the stuffed animals in a similar way to her mother tending to her human patients.
Despite having a runtime of only 11 minutes, the animated program is very popular amongst television viewers and has earned an average quarterly viewership of 16 million views on the internet. Set-top box users have reportedly used their respective video-on-demand services to order the program more than 20 million times.
— DisneyTVA News (@DisneyTVA) February 15, 2017
Doc McStuffins had been widely acclaimed for its theme and particularly for the portrayal of an African-American character in the role of a female physician. This makes the animated series socially relevant because it is rare to find a female African-American cartoon character that is shown to play a doctor in an animated series.
The producers of Doc McStuffins were primarily inspired by the Artemis Medical Society, a community organization that was founded by female African-American doctors to improve the quality of healthcare. Deadline reports that Doc McStuffins has become so popular that the animated character also features in books, DVDs, theme park attractions, soundtracks, and other products that are part of the Disney Junior franchise.
Doc McStuffins has been popular largely due to its representation of a little girl who brings her toys to life in the absence of grown-ups. The animation is reminiscent of Bill Watterson’s Calvin and Hobbes comic strip that focused on the humorous interaction between a little boy and his stuffed tiger. However, Calvin & Hobbes was targeted towards a slightly older audience, while Doc McStuffins is a simple cartoon program that is targeted towards preschoolers who love to see how the little doctor treats her patients. Doc McStuffins has inspired children of all ethnicities while being particularly inspirational to children of color who finally have a popular role model to emulate.
— Disney Parks (@DisneyParks) February 12, 2017
Disney’s Doc McStuffins and Nickelodeon’s Dora the Explorer are considered two of the most popular characters among preschoolers. The program has been honored with a Peabody Award and two NAACP Image Awards for being an excellent program that celebrates diversity. Michelle Obama is also a fan of the program, and the former first lady was also featured in an episode in a guest role. According to Variety, Nancy Kanter, the Executive Vice-President of Disney Junior Worldwide, spoke about the positive impact that the show has had on children.
“Doc McStuffins is an unmistakable example of our commitment to powerful storytelling that enriches and enlightens kids. I can think of no other children’s television show in recent history that has touched as many lives.”
Previously, many parents and children were concerned when the show’s producers did not comment about the show’s renewal for a fifth season. This led to a campaign on Twitter to express the concern of millions of enthusiastic viewers who wanted to know about Doc McStuffins’ future on television. The Twitter campaign was called “Cheers for preschoolers” and was led by W. Kamau Bell, a well-known comedian who hosts CNN’s United Shades of America.
Kids just finished their black history projects.
Jerica: Black TV History "Real TV"
AJ: Barack Obama
Amani: Doc McStuffins pic.twitter.com/D5mLhN9Tk8
— Rev Run & Shoot (@CoachMcKissic) February 5, 2017
According to Variety, toddler and preschooler viewers are so fond of Doc McStuffins and other characters because they are emotionally attached to them.
“Our viewers have forged a deep connection with this series and are very vocal about how strongly they believe in these characters.”
TMZ reported that the producers finally announced a new season of Doc McStuffins, with the upcoming fifth season to be broadcast in 2018.
The news brings huge relief to fans and parents who were worried about the possible cancellation of the show.
[Featured Image by Ben Gabbe/Getty Images]