Who doesn’t love TV? In Western countries there is the extremely popular “Doc McStuffins” and “Peppa Pig.” 

Have you wondered what Chinese Gen Z children grew up watching? Let’s take a trip down memory lane. 

If you are not Chinese, these shows are also great for practicing Mandarin. Here are four TV shows that almost every kid watched in the early 2000s.

  1. 1 喜羊羊与灰太狼 Pleasant Goat And The Big Big Wolf

    Pleasant Goat And The Big Big Wolf

    喜羊羊与灰太狼 (xǐ yáng yáng yǔ huī tài láng) had to be one of the most popular TV shows for kids during the 2000s. The show produced countless merchandise ranging from cups to pencil cases plastered with characters.  

    This show is about the adventures of a group of goats and two wolves. Wolffy and his wife Wolnie live in a castle far from the gated village where the goats live. Wolffy constantly tries to hunt the goats for food. 

    The goats are very intelligent. Every time Wolffy finds ways to try to catch the goats, they are always a step ahead of Wolffy. 

    The main character 喜羊羊 (xǐ yáng yáng) or Weslie always finds ways to ruin Wolffy’s plans. Hilariously, at the end of each episode, Wolffy shouts his famous catchphrase “我一定会回来的 (wǒ yī dìng huì huí lái de)!” or “I will be coming back for you!”

    I highly recommend this show! It is funny, entertaining and the theme song is so catchy

    Here is a playlist of episodes to enjoy. 

  2. 2 大头儿子小头爸爸 Big-Headed Kid and Small-Headed Father

    Big-Headed Kid and Small-Headed Father

    大头儿子小头爸爸 (Dà tóu er zi xiǎo tóu bà ba) is about a family of three that lives in Shanghai. In their cozy house lives the son, the dad and the mom. 

    Their lives are filled with laughter and surrounded with happiness. 

    This is one of the best TV shows for kids because not only does this show teach about the importance of love for family and friends, but also important life lessons. 

    Here is a playlist of episodes.

  3. 3 西游记动画版 Journey to the West

    Journey To The West

    西游记 (Xī yóu jì) is an adaptation of one of the four classic novels in Chinese literature. There are so many versions; some are live-action while others are animated. 

    This is the 1999 animated version and my personal favorite. 

    This version has 45 episodes and each episode describes the different adventures and setbacks the master and three disciples go through. Watching “Journey To The West” is a great way to get children interested in reading the novel version! 

    Watch first and thank me later. 

  4. 4 哪吒传奇 The Legend of Nezha

    The Legend of Nezha

    哪吒传奇 (Nǎ zhā chuán qí) is a story about Nezha, one of the most powerful deities in Chinese mythology. His life is anything but ordinary. 

    For example, his mother Madame Yin was pregnant with him for three years and six months before giving birth. What came out was not a baby, but a meaty ball of flesh. 

    His father Commander Li thought the ball was a demon and slashed it with his sword. Out came a fully grown boy. They named him Nezha.

    “The Legend of Nezha” is a classic. I remember always waiting for the next episode to broadcast and singing the iconic theme song:

    “是他, 是他, 是他, 就是他, 我们的朋友小哪吒 (shì tā, shì tā, shì tā,  jiù shì tā, wǒ men de péng yǒu xiǎo nǎ zhā)!” or “it’s him, it’s him, it’s him, it is him, our friend little Nezha!”

    Rewatching this show as an adult is definitelydifferent, but in a the best way.

    What is your favorite childhood TV show? Let us know in the comments below!

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Amie Lin

Amie Lin is currently attending Hunter College double majoring in Mandarin and Media Studies. She is such a foodie and loves Chinese dramas.
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