Maxwell, Andrea. (Director). (2007). Dottie’s Magic Pockets [Television series]. Portland, OR: Pink Pea.
Dottie’s Magic Pockets is a quirky and imaginative children’s program featuring a lesbian mom and a sweet and goofy group of non-human friends who play, sing, and learn together. I believe that this is the very first children’s series with a queer family, which is simultaneously awesome and extremely sad. Children in queer families need to see themselves reflected in their media. The impetus for the show was writer and creator Tammy Stoner’s son, who wanted to watch shows with families like his.
Characters include James the Flower, who has a French accent and loves tea; Motilda the Mouse, who has sparkly whiskers and a squeaky voice; Uncanny, a singing aluminum can; and Randal the Beaver, who wears glasses and is somewhat shy. The four friends are gentle and kind, a bit odd, and have very distinct personalities. With Dottie, they meet new friends, learn about words that sound the same but have different meanings, learn to appreciate what makes them unique, and have lots of fun singing and dancing.
The set is brightly colored and reminds me a bit of a low-budget Pee-Wee’s playhouse, with the sentient household items and especially the furry wall that sprouts helpful hands. The characters and music are campy and very approachable for children. The educational portions are gentle and not moralistic, the music is catchy, and it’s incredibly refreshing to see queer families represented in such a loving and casual way.
Currently, Dottie’s Magic Pockets has one 50-minute DVD with two episodes as well as a CD with 16 original songs. The show has been screened at multiple film festivals and received positive reviews from NPR, Curve Magazine, OUT.com, Bitch Magazine, and many others. It’s unclear whether more episodes will be created, but the blog hasn’t been updated for over a year.
Dottie’s Magic Pockets can be purchased at the website or borrowed from the public library (if your library doesn’t have it, you can make a suggestion!).