Mama Mirabelle's Home Movies

Common Sense Media says

Nature's diversity comes to life for preschoolers.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Kids learn about the natural world through wildlife videos and explanations of the animals' behavior, appearance, and lifestyle.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this engaging, educational animated series exposes kids to the beauty and diversity of the natural world through live-action wildlife movies and descriptions of animal behavior and lifestyle. The clips answer questions that the show's young animal characters pose about themselves and their friends (such as a zebra who wonders why she has stripes). Kids will enjoy the simple animation, African-inspired music, and the chance to get a close-up look at nature.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

When it comes to young animals' queries about the world around them, there's no better teacher than their soulful caretaker, Mama Mirabelle (voiced by Vanessa Williams). Using knowledge she's gleaned from her worldly travels and the wildlife films she's made along the way, this maternal elephant is always ready to help her young charges solve the riddles of nature. Set in the African savannah, MAMA MIRABELLE'S HOME MOVIES centers on a handful of youthful animals, including a cheetah named Bo; a zebra named Karla; Mama's calf named Max; and three raucous monkeys, Kip, Flip, and Chip. As with all youngsters, each new day breeds plenty of curiosity among the group, and when questions arise about themselves and those around them (like why they live where they do and why they can't go to the watering hole alone, for example), they turn to Mama Mirabelle for answers.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Mama's stories always gather a rapt audience of savannah animals, and the listeners are treated to tales of life in the far reaches of the world to which Mama has traveled through the years. She shares with them – and the viewers – her library of wildlife films from across the globe, explaining how animal behavior and lifestyle varies among species and the reasons for the differences. In one segment, for example, Karla becomes frustrated with her appearance when her stripes make it difficult to play hide-and-seek. Using video footage of peacocks and parrots, Mama reminds her that some animals are proud of the features that make them different. She also explains that in some cases – as with the poison dart frog of the rainforest – a vibrant appearance can act as a warning to predators that they wouldn't be a tasty meal.

Mama Mirabelle's Home Movies gives preschoolers a close-up view of the stunning diversity of the natural world, and parents (if not the kids themselves) will find that many of the lessons the series touts (like why it's important to listen to adults and why sleep is important, for example) also relate to the youngsters. The show's gentle stories, sweet characters, simple animation, and African-inspired music make for a pleasant viewing experience for kids and their parents.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the animals in Mama's films. How are the animals similar? Do they look, live, or eat the same way? How does their environment change how they live? How are the animals different? Which ones were your favorites? Why? Parents can also talk to kids about the questions the young animals had about themselves. What did the animals learn today? Did Mama's answers make sense? Do you have any questions about yourself? How could you find the answers?

TV details

Cast:Phillipa Alexander, Teresa Gallagher
Networks:PBS Kids, Sprout
Genre:Educational
Topics:Science and nature, Wild animals
TV rating:TV-Y
Available on:DVD

This review of Mama Mirabelle's Home Movies was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.

See more about how we rate and review.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Adult Written byKimby08 April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

Smart, Educational, and Fun for Kids 2-8

This is a great show - combines National Geographic video footage of animals with animation to teach concepts about animals - from habitats to behaviors to geography. BRILLIANT. My 3 year old LOVES it and learns something every time she watches it.

Parent Written byvbrown801 March 14, 2011
AGE
2
QUALITY
 

Educational

There aren't a lot of options for under age 3 but I think this is one of them. It's educational and fun to watch together. I don't love the animation but there are worse options out there.

What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Adult Written byzeebro April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

This show has myself and my children dancing and running to the screen.

This show has myself and my children dancing and running to the screen. We don't like to miss a beat of it. We sing along, and the films are exciting, real, and well narrated and directed to catch children's attention. Very catchy!

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Top Kids' Movies: An Essential Guide for Families