Ruby's Studio: The Feelings Show

Movie review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Ruby's Studio: The Feelings Show Movie Poster Image
Intuitive movie helps kids learn to express their emotions.
  • NR
  • 2012
  • 45 minutes

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The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Educational Value

The movie is brimming with lessons in emotional literacy delivered at a child's comprehension level. There's even an educational element for parents in a viewing option that enables pop-ups with advice from an expert who draws on psychology to explain why the different skills are important to a child's development.

Positive Messages

Kids learn the value of accepting their feelings and expressing them in constructive ways. Ruby and the other characters demonstrate coping techniques for challenging emotions like frustration, anger, and sadness, showing kids that when they communicate their feelings through talking or drawing, other people will understand them and can help. A diverse cast includes both boys and girls of various ethnicities, and the content dispels common myths like "only babies cry." Major themes include compassion and empathy.

Positive Role Models & Representations

All of the people in the show talk honestly about what it's like to have strong feelings, and the kids' words will resonate especially with young audience members. Siblings speak of getting mad at each other; kids recall punching pillows or breathing deeply to overcome frustration; even Ruby shows her displeasure when she spills a jar of paint on her art project. In every case, though, they show kids how naming and expressing their feelings can be a positive learning experience.

Violence & Scariness

One character punches his pillow in frustration, and others talk about similar reactions to anger.

Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Ruby's Studio: The Feelings Show walks kids through the basics of coping with a myriad of emotions, including sadness, frustration, and anger in a unique format that incorporates puppets, animation, and advice from a panel of youngsters. The show's vibrant hostess creates an inviting atmosphere that appeals to kids' imaginations and encourages them to express themselves to parents just as the cast members talk to her. Each story, song, or activity explores a different feeling, validating the strong emotions kids experience and showing them how positive expression helps others understand what's going on and makes them better able to help kids through the moment. This superb show is an excellent tool for parents and kids alike, giving grown-ups a chance to see emotions through their youngsters' eyes and offering plenty of conversation starters related to social development.

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What's the story?

RUBY'S STUDIO: THE FEELINGS SHOW invites kids to Ruby's Studio, a magical place where make-believe, arts and crafts, music, and sharing teach them the importance of identifying their feelings and expressing them in a constructive way. Hostess Ruby (Kelsey Collins) leads four young friends through the basics of coping with the myriad of emotions they might experience in the course of a day, from happiness to jealousy to anger. With the help of some puppet friends, the magical Garden Theater, and some tap-happy tunes, she and the kids explore these feelings and find some fun ways to deal with them.

Is it any good?

Each story here is a gem, capturing the essence of kids' emotions and illustrating socially responsible ways for them to handle similar situations. The delightful Feelings Show is the brainchild of The Mother Company, a collaborative effort from creative moms whose hands-on experience with the ups and downs of childhood gives way to intuitive stories and songs with lovable -- and relatable -- characters. There's Sally, whose frustrated failures at building the world's tallest double-decker sandwich almost spell the end of her efforts. When Sid gets sad that his parents are leaving for the night, it takes some wise words from his friend to remind him that they're always thinking about him and loving him. And when a boy's younger brother breaks his favorite toy, he gets a visit from the Anger Monster, who grows as his feelings escalate and shrinks when he expresses his anger with positive communication.

Inviting artistry, sharp writing, and a pitch-perfect hostess who blends the best qualities of Mister Rogers and Mary Poppins make this a delightful pick for parents and kids to enjoy together. You'll both learn a lot, especially thanks to the "Pop-Up Parenting" viewing option that displays captions with sage advice from author Betsy Brown Braun, who touches on the psychology behind the kid-geared content.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Family members can talk about how they handle difficult emotions. What outlets do you have for stress or anger? How do soothing sounds or comforting surroundings help you feel better?

  • Is it easy for you to talk about your feelings with other people? What situations are particularly challenging for you to express your thoughts? How can grown-ups help?  

  • Parents and kids can build on the creative activity in this show, creating a collage that illustrates their feelings. What colors and images describe how you feel when you're sad? Angry? Happy? You can even make your own feelings wheel to help start conversations about different emotions.

  • How does Ruby's Studio: The Feelings Show promote communication, compassion, and empathy? Why is this an important character strength?

Movie details

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