The makers of “PAW Patrol” released a spin-off series, “Rubble & Crew,” earlier this year. Similar to the animated classic “Bob the Builder,” the characters of “Rubble & Crew” work together to “make their town, Builder Cove, a ter-ruff-ic place to live,” according to the show’s website.
Now in its second season, the series recently introduced the show’s first nonbinary character, River. The episode aired on Aug. 22, according to the Christian Post.
“I wanted to write a nonbinary character that was aspirational and incredibly cool, someone for the pups (and kids at home) to look up to,” shared Lindz Amer, a writer for the show who self-identifies as the “queer Mister Rogers.”
‘PAW Patrol’ Animated Spinoff Introduces First Nonbinary Character
The PAW Patrol franchise began as an animated children’s series focused on search and rescue dogs. The franchise has experienced 10 years of incredible success. The original show continues to release new episodes and has grown to produce two feature films and the spin-off series, “Rubble & Crew.”
Rubble, a young English bulldog and member of the original PAW Patrol, took the lead in the new series when he was invited to lead projects in the fictional town of Builder Cove. Rubble and his crew continue to make repairs and construct new buildings.
“Rubble & Crew” leadership invited Queer Kid Stuff leader Lindz Amer to consult and write as they introduced a new, nonbinary character. As part of Queer Kid Stuff, Amer has been spreading “queer joy since 2016.” Rainbow Storytime videos include readings of various LGBTQ+ books for children, and Amer offers inclusive curriculum to parents and educators.
Writer Amer expressed excitement over the “bucket list” opportunity. “They brought me on to consult on the first nonbinary character—meet River!!—for the PP universe and write their episode,” the writer posted.
“If you’re in the mood for a Saturday Morning Cartoon then YOU SHOULD WATCH MY EPISODE OF RUBBLE & CREW!!” Amer exclaimed.
Amer continued, “It’s officially out in the world and that means I can talk about it!! I got to write an episode of Rubble & Crew (the construction spin off series from the Paw Patrol franchise).”
According to Forbes, River is a “skateboarder who loves photography.” Throughout the episode, “The Crew Builds an Observatory,” the dogs work together on the project “so River can take pictures of stars.”
The Evening Standard reported that while River’s nonbinary identity is “not directly addressed on the show, some clues include the character’s pink, white and blue socks, which are the same colors on the transgender pride flag.”
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According to the writer’s Instagram profile, Amer uses “they/them” pronouns and identifies as the “queer Mister Rogers.” As part of the production process, Amer explained that the show’s makers “found an awesome non-binary actor (@cihang_ma) to voice River and I’m so so happy about how it turned out. Swipe to peep River’s 🏳️⚧️ kicks!”