Ask any Pinoy child what their favorite cartoon is, and Peppa Pig is likely in the top five of their favorite shows. Kids (and even parents) have grown to love Peppa’s family and her friends. But now things are about to get even more exciting — the show just announced a new addition to Peppa’s playgroup, a character named Mandy Mouse, and she uses a wheelchair.
On April 3, 2019, Peppa Pig’s official Twitter account introduced Mandy Mouse to its followers. Their tweet read, “Squeak! Introducing the newest member of the playgroup, Mandy Mouse!”
According to “Peppa Pig Official,” Mandy Mouse will be a recurring character in the show and will appear “in more brand-new episodes in the future.”
Mandy Mouse was first introduced in episode eight of the show’s sixth season as a visitor to Peppa Pig’s playgroup. After showing off her basketball skills on a wheelchair, Peppa Pig asked her why she needed one. Mandy Mouse replied, “Because my legs don’t work like yours.” When another friend asked if she could walk using her legs, Mandy Mouse said, “No, I have my wheels!”
Mandy Mouse demonstrates to her new friends that she can get around fine on her wheelchair, exclaiming, “I can do everything!”
The show’s inclusion of a character with a disability and special needs has been met with a positive response. Parents have flocked to Peppa Pig’s Twitter account to share how thrilled they and their children are about this new addition.
“My little girl has a wheelchair, and she spotted this character in the 'Peppa goes to London' book yesterday! Great that she’s going to be a regular character,” said one mom.
Another tweeted, “I could cry! My daughter loves Peppa and has a neuromuscular disorder. This is a game changer. Thank you!”
People with disabilities have also vowed to watch the show after Mandy Mouse’s introduction. “Oh, this is so good. Well done! With love from a 29-year-old wheelchair user who will now be watching Peppa Pig avidly,” read one tweet.
“This is amazing,” another tweet read. “Thank you for being inclusive. It’s so awesome to see a wheelchair user in any show, but it’s definitely important for children to see disability so it becomes the norm.”
Peppa Pig is one of few children’s TV series that features characters with special needs and disabilities. The How to Train Your Dragon franchise has Hiccup and Toothless, while Sesame Street, which introduced a child with autism named Julia in 2017, also expanded its storyline to include her family into the show this April.
Since Peppa Pig launched in the U.K. in 2004, it has become well-loved by parents and children alike, thanks to its fun, light-hearted content — a preschooler who faces issues similar to any young human child, like making friends, visiting grandparents, or teasing siblings. And hopefully, with the addition of Mandy Mouse, more kids will now be able to feel represented and included and learn more about what other kids with disabilities and special needs go through.