Today, I take a look at “Doc McStuffins,” a series that launched on Disney Junior (Disney’s preschool block/channel) in 2012. Running until 2020, “Doc” totaled five seasons and 136 episodes. (Spoilers below, as usual.)
The show centers around a young girl named Dottie McStuffins (nicknamed “Doc” by everyone). Doc hopes to be a doctor (like her mother) when she grows up. Unlike other kids, Doc has a magic stethoscope that (when others aren’t around) she uses to brings toys to life, akin to “Toy Story.”
Episodes usually involve Doc and the toys learning various life lessons, especially lessons about the importance of health. (A frequently-sung song is “Time For Your Checkup.”) The first several seasons see Doc running a clinic for broken toys out of a shed in her backyard, with her toys as the clinic’s nurses. Later seasons show Doc and the toys running an entire toy hospital in “McStuffinsville” (a toy-based town in another dimension), allowing for hospital-based storylines and lessons.
Besides Doc, the show’s cast of toys includes:
- Lambie, a toy lamb that likes hugs.
- Stuffy, a toy snowman that’s nervous and constantly worried about his possible (non-existent) health conditions or melting (forgetting he’s a toy).
- Chilly, a toy dragon that tries to be brave, despite occasional clumsiness.
- Hattie, a friendly but sassy toy hippo.
- Squeakers, a squeaking toy blowfish, and the only toy that doesn’t talk (just squeaks).
The main other human characters are Doc’s family: her mother, father, a younger brother (Donny), and (as of season 3) a baby sister (Maya, in a story about adapting to a new sibling and adoption). There’s also Doc’s grandmother, who turns out to be the source of Doc’s magic stethoscope (and McStuffinsville).
- “Doc McStuffins” has earned much praise for covering medical and health issues in a child-friendly manner.
- The show has also received praise for featuring an African American female lead character.
- The series has two Christmas specials, “A Very McStuffins Christmas” and “The Doc McStuffins Christmas Special.” The second special sees Doc and her friends save Christmas via time travel.
- Here’s an interview with the show’s creator, Chris Nee. As for the idea of the show being “‘Cheers’ for preschoolers”: Hattie’s presumably Carla, but does this make Chilly Norm?
- “Doc McStuffins Goes to Washington”: An episode where Doc and her family visit the White House, and meet then-First Lady Michelle Obama.
- “On a Roll”: Doc and the toys discover McStuffinsville isn’t fully accessible for a wildlife explorer toy (who uses a wheelchair) and set about to fix the town.
- “Mole Money, Mole Problems“: The fact the episode title’s a pun on a Notorious B.I.G. song.
- “The Emergency Plan”: The gang set up a plan for a toy family’s household in case of emergencies. The toy family consists of two Moms and their kids; actors Wanda Sykes and Portia de Rossi voice the parents.
Here’s the show’s original opening credits.
And here’s the later seasons’ intro, reflecting the McStuffinsville toy hospital setting.
Image from “Doc McStuffins.” (Disney)