Nina Needs to Go! Review

Plot: I’ll explain in a second, I promise.

Breakdown: This one goes out to Dr. Tic Tac for totally forcing me to watch this. All blame on them. I’m not even sure they’re a real doctor.

Eh, I’m kidding, Tic Tac. You’re good people. This one’s on me. I just make poor life decisions. 😀

This is a bit of a stray from my usual fare as, today, we’re dealing with a show on Disney Junior centered around rushing a small child to the bathroom. I have said I’ll give pretty much any show a shot. And this is a bit of a rabbit hole I jumped into.

Almost every episode is exactly that – rushing Nina to the bathroom in various locations because she has a poor sense of understanding when she has to use the bathroom.

Each episode is two and a half minutes long, there are 19 episodes in total, and they all have the aim of teaching little kids about not waiting to go to the bathroom. Listen to your body and use the bathroom when you suspect you might have to go not when you’re….say….at the top of mountain on a skiing trip and the closest bathroom is at the bottom of the mountain. Kid’s in a snowsuit too. You’re screwed.

There’s another episode where Nina’s camping, so there’s no bathroom to find, but she demands privacy and can’t find it because there are animals everywhere. In one of the instances of finding a spot that wasn’t private, they came across a deer…watching her with binoculars…..I am…extremely disturbed.

Just for those wondering how that episode ends, her Nana comes along…she reveals that she can communicate with animals and she recruits them to build Nina a bathroom with sticks and rocks…instead of just asking them to please go away and give her some privacy.

The humor’s also not that good. It has its moments, but it’s not that good. What can you really expect in a pee-based mini-series, though?

Nina has an active imagination and she’ll just talk about things until something triggers her thinking about something related to water or something around her with remind her of water. Like this guy totally realistically pouring this bottle of water into this cup.

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How do I water bottle?

This thought will immediately bring her to defcon 1 in the bladder department and her parents, brother or, most commonly, Nana will have to rush her to the bathroom before it’s too late.

Several reviewers have said they dislike this show for its potty humor, but outside of water=gotta pee, I didn’t see anything I would qualify as such. Either people are really reading into this series or I’m not getting something.

While her parents and brother are normal…her Nana’s…a secret agent?…Superhero?…I…uh….Whenever she takes Nina on her adventure to the can, she does risky stunts and uses gadgets to get her there as quickly as possible. She also has an incredibly annoying catchphrase of ‘That’s why I always carry an umbrella!’ Get it? Because her umbrella is a deus ex machina. It can become damn near anything.

Her parents don’t seem to know this about Nana, even though, in the first episode, she clearly brings Nina to the roof of the train right in front of her father. Her father being a complete idiot is also a theme.

Nana’s seemingly omniscient because she appears right in the nick of time anywhere Nina has a bathroom emergency, even if there’s literally no other reason for her to be there.

This was the first problem I really noticed with the…’story’ so to speak. When a kid is about to burst, it’s probably not a good idea to bring them along on adrenaline-filled stunts like this. Just nonchalantly walking on top of a train (it’s safe because they have helmets) and then Mary Poppinsing over a gap between train cars.

Or skiing down a mountain and darting around obstacles and going over jumps while Nina’s riding in Nana’s purse like a teacup dog. May I ask how the hell they even expected this three year old kid to ski down the mountain? Was someone going to carry her while they were skiing or was she going to ski down by herself? Neither answer is the right one.

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Seriously, some of the stuff they do is really dangerous and, considering the target audience, sets a bad example for kids. Bathroom being cleaned on one floor of the mall? No worries, just use an umbrella and zipline down to the next floor instead of asking the guy politely to wait a damn minute or else he’ll have to use that mop for something else.

Gotta go potty while stuck in traffic? No worries, just run out into the road doing whatever without looking both ways. I know it’s a traffic jam, but the cars are moving. In that same episode, they hitch a ride onto a wrecking ball and crash themselves through a billboard to reach the bathroom.

Nina always makes it to the bathroom in time and she always comes out claiming that will never happen again because now she knows not to hold it.

It’s here where most people have their biggest issue with the series, and what I assume is what got it canceled (Or canned! AHHAHAHAHAH)

On IMDB, and even on the official Disney Wikia page for this show, people were complaining that this series was actually having the opposite effect on kids than the creators originally intended. Instead of teaching young kids to listen to their bodies and go to the bathroom when they feel they might need to go instead of waiting until it’s an emergency situation, kids were choosing to purposely hold their pee because they believed if they did so they’d get to go on cool adventures to the porcelain throne like Nina.

And, of course, this lead to a bunch of accidents…..a…flood of them, if you will. HAHAHAHAHAH LAUGH WITH ME!

One reviewer on IMDB even stated a friend of hers had a perfectly potty trained daughter who suddenly started holding her pee on purpose, shouting ‘I NEED TO GO!’ when it started getting bad and then having accidents all because ‘that’s what Nina does.’

Many people on Youtube also pointed out the stupidity that her parents won’t teach her to go before they leave no matter if she feels she has to or not. You can’t trust a kid to be honest when they say they don’t have to go to the bathroom, especially at that age.

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I didn’t know where else to mention this, but during one episode they trip the alarm near the crown jewels while trying to get to the bathroom in the tower of London and have to escape….Oh and in this episode, we see the queen rush to the potty, if you ever needed that visual.

Another problem is that, well, this is a series of shorts with the exact same structure each time. Which means, what, class? That’s right! Nina never learns a damn thing. Despite every single episode ending with the same line of ‘That’ll never happen again, because now I know. Don’t wait to go.’ each episode has her waiting to go….and it happening again…because now she doesn’t know, apparently.

She doesn’t learn. Why would she? Like the kids who now have stained pants and angry parents, she knows each time she does this that she gets to have action-packed adventures to get to the latrine.

Something else you need to know about this series is that it was sponsored by Pull-Ups…and….someone suggested that this whole series and the mess that resulted from it…is a conspiracy to sell more diapers. I think that’s going a bit far….then again….why would a diaper company be promoting good potty training lessons?

Also, Nina pees magic twinkles or something. I dunno. Every time she uses the bathroom it sounds like Tinkerbell’s shaking off in there.

The art and animation is insanely simplistic and cheap, but, as much as I hate to say this, it’s suitable for a toddler show. It has bright colors and simple designs which kids would like. The animation is cardboard-cutout slidey Flash animation, but it’s not terrible. It’s pretty alright in the action scenes.

The music is blah, but fine, and the voice acting is alright. Nina is a little on the irritating side, but she could be worse. Also, famous anime voice actress Colleen O’Shaugnessey voices the mom. How utterly random.

All in all….no. Just…no. I can’t recommend it to anyone over the age of three because there’s nothing to gain from it in regards to, like, production or comedy or anything, and I can’t recommend it for parents or small children because it might actually reverse or slow down their potty training and cause accidents.

Even if the message worked, this series doesn’t need to exist. Such a simple concept does not need 15 episodes, no matter if they’re barely over two minutes each, in order to drive its point home. One is all that’s necessary, really. This should be a series about varied little lessons Nina learns, not the same lesson over and over that she never learns.

Being fair, it seems like they were going that way in the end, because there are four special episodes that they started making right before they got canceled that show Nina learning different lessons that have nothing to do with her bladder.

Nina Needs to Go to Sleep has the adventure be getting her upstairs without alerting her parents and getting her to sleep. And guess what? That episode actually has a lesson that kinda works. Can’t sleep? Read a book. Only way that can blow up in your face is if the kid turns out to be a bibliophile and stays awake to all hours of the night reading.

Then again, the way to get to the Nana adventure is by staying up past her bedtime and sneaking behind her parents’ backs…..

Well, Nina Needs to Go to a Fancy Restaurant has her learning good manners, which is alright, but then, in order to have an adventure with Nana, her meatball flies away and onto a dirty plate, they hop on top of a row of dirty plates to grab it, she grabs it off the dirty plate with her bare hands, Nana uses spaghetti as a whip to get onto the chandelier, the meatball flies back down, rolls onto the floor, she slides around on a wet floor sign, all the while Nana is chastising others for incredibly minor manners violations and then they use the mop to get back to their seats.

 

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Guys, it’s bad manners to…well, quite literally everything you’re doing right now.

 

Thank god she doesn’t eat the meatball, but screw off trying to teach good manners like this. We go from ‘Nina, use your indoor voice.’ to jumping around the restaurant like it’s Indiana Jones all to catch a meatball.

Also, her brother kinda asks if he could have the meatball, she says ‘no’ then the adventure happens. She gets a new meatball, eats half of it, but doesn’t offer the other half to her brother. Guess sharing isn’t a part of good manners.

When she goes to preschool, it’s alright. She feels left out until she lets the class hamster out the door and then Nana comes along to save it and they have an advent—oh I can see how this one might go wrong too.

There’s the final episode where Nina goes to the museum and learns to not separate from her parents or else she’ll get lost…..and she learns this by separating from her parents and getting lost so they can write in her adventure with Nana to get back to her father instead of teaching kids to find someone who works there and alert them to the situation so they can get back to their parents…..

And, again, it teaches kids that umbrellas are suitable parachute material…and that you should jump off from one floor to another with said umbrella….

 

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Try this at home on your furniture, kids!

 

The real lesson comes off like it’s ‘don’t touch anything at a museum’ because she keeps saying that, which, while being a good lesson, didn’t have any consequences…

Also, the very end makes off like she is super happy she got lost because then she got to see everything she wanted to see and not the boring rocks her dad was trying to show h—You know what? Screw it. This whole series is a terrible idea. It has good intentions and some jokes that work, but the structure basically guarantees its failure every time, especially if what parents have been saying about it in regards to monkey-see monkey-do is for real.

It wasn’t a total wash, because I certainly learned something. I can actually enjoy myself while reviewing a preschool show. That either makes me a good reviewer or a nitpicky jerk. If I choose ‘nitpicky jerk’ can I go on an adventure with my grandma?