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The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Odd Squad: The Movie is a feature-length addition to the math-based TV series from the Fred Rogers Company that follows an all-kid mystery-solving agency with serious number skills. Here Odd Squad must fight for its very survival as a rival team of grown-ups takes over the town, so most of the movie is spent on the tug-of-war between the two sides. In what's sure to be kid-pleasing fare but also could raise some eyebrows among parents, most adult characters are cast as petty, childish, and dim in order for the young cast to win the day. Teamwork, problem-solving, and the value of perseverance are standout messages in this fun series add-on.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
With a proven track record of solving mysteries around their town, Odd Squad is everyone's first call when bizarre things happen at the start of ODD SQUAD: THE MOVIE. Imagine their surprise when a group of adults called the Weird Team moves in and promises faster results with a newfangled fix-it gadget. Now out of business, the Odd Squad members part ways -- until they discover that the Weird Team doesn't quite deliver on its promises.
Is it any good?
A must-see for fans of the show, this TV movie is a fun meeting between the kid-run crime-fighting crew and a rival band of adults with comically sinister motives. With the unforgettable Jack McBrayer running lead for the Weird Team as Weird Tom, some memorable scenes ensue. This movie is also a convergence point for exiting agents Olive (Dalila Bela) and Otto (Filip Geljo) and new hires Olympia (Anna Cathcart) and Otis (Isaac Kragten), with the sharp-tongued Ms. O (Millie Davis) still in charge. On the downside, this story celebrates kid power at the expense of adults by painting them as juvenile and inept, but it's meant in good fun.
Odd Squad: The Movie is just as engaging as is the series, and kids will enjoy the gadgets and gizmos at play, but the feature-length format means less obvious focus on math as the characters' attention is firmly on their rivals. Number sense comes into play in less prominent ways, although the agents still seize a brief opportunity to demonstrate how helpful understanding basic math can be. On the other hand, themes of teamwork, critical thinking, and thoroughness continue to stand out in this likable addition to a popular series.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about working with a team, like they do in Odd Squad: The Movie. Why is strong leadership important to a team's success? Do your kids enjoy being leaders? Does working with others toward a common goal ever complicate the process? If so, how?
How are Odd Squad's and Weird Team's problem-solving processes different from each other? Have you ever been tempted to take a shortcut on a difficult task? How does doing so cheat you out of a learning opportunity?
How does this movie present its adult characters? Are any of them good role models? Do any learn lessons?
- In theaters: August 1, 2016
- On DVD or streaming: January 24, 2017
- Cast: Millie Davis, Jack McBrayer, Dalila Bela
- Studio: PBS
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Topics: Adventures, Great Boy Role Models, Great Girl Role Models, Numbers and Letters
- Character Strengths: Teamwork
- Run time: 67 minutes
- MPAA rating: NR
- Awards/Honors: Common Sense Seal
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