Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Cartoon Discovery: El Tigre - The Adventures of Manny Rivera

For a parent attempting to raise bilingual children I love coming across culturally-infused cartoons. Turns out in 2007 there was a cartoon called El Tigre - The Adventures of Manny Rivera. It aired on Nickelodeon and lasted only one season but those 26 episodes have been a great treat for my almost 8 year old.

The whole first season can be purchased on iTunes or is free for amazon prime members. We stumbled upon this 'toon by accident during one of my kid's "I'm sooooo bored" rants. Before I knew it he was snuggled up next to me and we were both chuckling away at this hilarious superhero story-line. 

It's full of Spanglish one-liners and enduring terms like "mija and mijo!" The main character Manny Rivera even has a sweet sidekick named Frida! I love that this cartoon is sprinkled with very Latino names (i.e. Rodolfo, Paco) and is combined with Spanish words throughout every episode... bandido, calavera, muchacho, etc. Immediately after watching my kid was adding these words to his make-believe playtime. In the first three episodes the two leads were casually chatting about "arroz con pollo" and defeating "guacamole" monsters.

I spend most of the cartoon laughing with my kid and translating words that enhance his Spanish vocabulary, and more importantly, his ability to relate and take pride in being bilingual and of Latino decent! Sure, this cartoon only lasted one season, but it exists and that matters. If you too have a grade-schooler in need of a little bilingual cartoon action check out this adorable cartoon! 

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