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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this lighthearted, fast-paced series (which is based on the popular book by Graeme Base) has nothing but good intentions. The central characters work together to save a society in peril, and the show subtly emphasizes the importance of communication and language arts -- from reading and writing to speech and computer proficiency.
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What's the story?
Based on the wildly popular children's book by Graeme Base, the CGI-animated series ANIMALIA colorfully brings to life a futuristic fantasy world in which animals talk, wear clothes, and do pretty much everything else humans do. Alex (voiced by Brooke Anderson) and Zoe (Katie Leigh) -- two children who are transported from our present world to Animalia via a magic portal in a library -- arrive in this strange land to find all is not well. The Core, a huge, glowing orb that governs Animalia's stability, is faltering and having potentially harmful effects on Animalia's inhabitants. With help from their new animal friends G'bubu the gorilla (Christopher Hobbs), Iggy the iguana (Robert Mark Klein), and Animalia ruler Livingstone T. Lion (who's reminiscent of The Chronicles of Narnia's Aslan), Alex and Zoe set off on one thrilling adventure after another in a quest to help regulate the Core and restore harmony to Animalia.
Is it any good?
Featuring lively storylines and filled with enough silliness to keep any grade-schooler entertained, Animalia can get a bit loud and frantic at times (from an adult point of view, anyway). That said, it's also designed to appeal to today's smart, sophisticated kids -- the dialogue is unusually witty, and the Animalians' use of ultra-advanced technology and other machinery and everyday objects typically used by humans sets a contemporary tone in a zany fantasy world that children will love exploring. Although this won't be obvious to most kid viewers, the show's central theme is communication, as the Core is what enables Animalia's inhabitants to talk and write like humans; according to the show's producers, each episode strives to emphasize the importance of communication skills such as reading, writing, speech, critical thinking, and computer proficiency.
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