A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that in Fireman Sam: Ultimate Heroes, Fireman Sam and his coworkers face danger at every turn. This movie features a hurricane with damaging winds, falling trees, high floodwaters, and fires. A small child is rescued as he's about to drop over a waterfall. A bus precariously sits on a cliff, and Sam heads inside to pull out a passenger too frightened to move. All this anxiety is heightened by heart-thumping music. But preschoolers will enjoy all the zipping about in rescue vehicles, and those familiar with the series will know that things always end well.
What's the story?
Fireman Sam and his coworkers are friends and protectors of everyone in the tiny Welsh seaside community of PontyPandy. They greet all by name and feel personally responsible for everyone's welfare. When their friend the bus driver tries to avoid a sheep in the road, he sets the bus on a cliff and calls Fireman Sam to help. Sam and the crew attach the bus to a winch to keep it from falling into the sea, but the bus filled with passengers is too heavy to hold. Sam bravely empties the bus and snips the winch when a fireman's life is threatened. A long list of threats and rescues follows, including a major hurricane.
Is it any good?
There is no doubt that a great deal of care and thought was put into production of this children's series. It has a lot in common with another well-loved show, Bob the Builder, but the latter feels more fun, with the tractors and trucks presented as human-like characters. Similar to Bob, Fireman Sam is a technical guy. His world revolves around hoses, hydrants, engines, chemical fire retardants, and water pressure. Many preschoolers will find all that fascinating.
Note that unlike Sesame Street, also aimed at young preschoolers, Fireman Sam and all the other characters speak exceedingly slowly and clearly, more as if they were addressing non-English-speaking adults with hearing trouble than 3-year-olds. Some viewers may miss the Welsh-accented voice actors of previous seasons of the series. The current actors have accents ranging from Canadian to southern American, and that may confuse and upset some kids.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about being careful with fire. Could Joe have been more careful with his lantern while closing the garage door? What should he have done differently?
Why is it important to listen to adults, such as firefighters, who are trained to keep you safe during emergencies?
How do you think fires can start even when it's raining?
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