Nature Cat is an educational American-Canadian children's animated television series. The series premiered on November 25, 2015 on PBS Kids after Wild Kratts: A Creature Christmas special. The series is aimed at children aged 3 to 8 years old, following the adventures of four main characters: Nature Cat, Hal the Dog, Daisy the Bunny and Squeeks the Mouse. The series follows Fred, a house cat with dreams of exploring outside. Once his family leaves for the day, he transforms into Nature Cat, who cannot wait for backyard nature excursions. However, Fred has one problem: he has no instincts for nature. Through the learning experiences of the characters, this series intends to encourage children to similarly engage with and develop understanding of nature, a motive which draws inspiration from the book Last Child in the Woods. The show has been nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award for "Outstanding Writing in an Animated Program".
On October 18, 2016, PBS Kids greenlit the series for two more seasons.
All of the cast members (with the exception of Kate Micucci) are currently the cast members of NBC's hit late-night sitcom, Saturday Night Live.
Nature Cat, 'Fred' (voiced by Taran Killam) - In the absence of his owners, Fred transforms into his alter-ego Nature Cat, narrating himself as such throughout the show. He is the main protagonist in leading a group of four other animals, frequently using the expressions "tally ho!" and "onwards and yonwards!" when initiating and continuing his adventures, lending to his optimistic and cheerful attitude in encouraging enthusiasm for the natural world. Taran Killam appraises Nature Cat as a positive character for children, describing his handling of adversity as “a great example of when you fall down you get back right up… and try it again”. He will occasionally drop from his ‘Nature Cat’ persona where, much like a regular housecat, he can suddenly become nervous or frightened. This can include having to interact with water, lamenting “why does it always have to be water?”, but in these situations he ultimately ends up finding confidence to persist.
Hal the Dog (voiced by Bobby Moynihan) - Characterised as being happy most of the time and is very loyal to his friends, most of all for Nature Cat who, who is always willing in partaking in his outdoor excursions and share discoveries even if he initially doesn’t understand them. Hal is generally absent minded, becoming a source of comic relief where he may respond to others with non-sequiturs or muddled reasoning thought out loud. He can also become blissfully unaware of when he is taken into or in a dangerous situation, such as becoming lost in a city. His capabilities as a playful dog is portrayed as him being a character that is uninhibited in approaching messy or unpleasant situations, such as digging the ground or smelling strong odours. This comes much to the benefit of others, where he is utilised in digging holes or locating in the environment by smell. He is sometimes accompanied by an inanimate chewing toy, “Mr. Chewinsky”, who he converses with when projecting his thoughts.
Daisy the Bunny (voiced by Kate Micucci) - She is often carrying a smartphone for use in providing supplementary information when investigating nature. Her role is to act as the voice of reason, but is nonetheless mostly co-operative as the rest when venturing with Nature Cat.