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What's the story?
Based on the books by Helen Craig and Katharine Holabird, ANGELINA BALLERINA is all about a little mouse with big dreams. This series follows Angelina Mousling as she balances her life as a normal growing mouse with her ambitions to become a famous ballet dancer. Angelina's adventures are animated, but brief live-action segments feature ballet tips executed by young aspiring dancers.
Is it any good?
This is a stellar series that sets a good example for viewers. In one episode, Angelina donates her stuffed animal -- originally a gift from her grandfather -- to charity. She's happy with her decision until she realizes she promised her grandfather a long time ago that she would always keep it. This realization leads to a quest to retrieve the toy ... until Angelina discovers that the new owner needs it more than she does. In the end, her grandfather is proud of her deed. In a different episode, ballet teacher Miss Lilly asks Angelina to be her helper. Angelina is excited because she knows that she's earned this honor. The little mouse takes her role seriously, and thanks to Angelina's positive encouragement, the other dancers overcome their difficulty and dance their best. This offers parents a chance to explain that rewards aren't given -- they're achieved through effort, courage, and positive reinforcement.
The music and characters are gentle throughout, making this series appropriate for all ages. But kids between 3 and 6 will enjoy it the most. Perhaps the only negative in Angelina Ballerina is that screen time isn't balanced between boys and girls. If boy dancers had equal screen time, it might encourage more boys to watch the series -- as well as express an interest in dance. It might even help some parents think of dance as more than just a girls' activity.
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