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The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Barbie Dreamhouse Adventures is an animated series starring the characters, settings, and accessories from Mattel's Barbie line of toys, games, clothing, and more. As such, commercialism is the biggest concern for the young target audience. The stories themselves are likable and show Barbie, her sisters, her parents, and her friends dealing with a challenge or adventure of some sort that requires a team effort and some ingenuity to overcome. Barbie addresses viewers directly through the guise of vlogs she records and shares, so electronics are visible throughout the show. This is a classic know-your-kid situation; if yours is prone to the gimmes when TV and merchandise cross, then you might think twice about the show.
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What's the story?
BARBIE DREAMHOUSE ADVENTURES opens as the Roberts family moves into a new home they designed themselves. For Barbie (voiced by America Young), that means lots of room for her to record her vlogs and hang out with her BFF, Ken (Ritesh Rajah). Her sisters, Stacie (Cassandra Morris), Skipper (Kirsten Day), and Chelsea (Cassidy Naber) also love their new digs, complete with features like a DJ station and an indoor basketball hoop so they can pursue their passions. When they're not at home, Barbie and her sisters and friends embark on fun and unexpected adventures around their hometown of Malibu.
Is it any good?
As franchise-heavy TV series go, this addition to Barbie's repertoire is refreshingly tasteful. It's essential to know -- and for your kids to be aware -- going into it that everything about Barbie's world probably has a merchandise equivalent gracing the toy store shelves. If your kids are easily influenced by the temptations of this kind of crossover between what they see and what they want, you might want to skip this one.
Happily, though Barbie Dreamhouse Adventures doesn't depend solely on its famous namesake to keep viewers' interest. The stories are relatable to real life, dealing with mishaps, misunderstandings, and comical set-ups, and they're always lighthearted. In every case, kids see Barbie and the rest of the gang making fun memories embracing new experiences and prioritizing friendship and family.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how advertising influences our buying habits. Does seeing products with your favorite characters on make them more appealing? What other similarities do you notice in the items you are drawn to in a store? Is heavy advertising necessarily a bad thing? Do you consider Barbie Dreamhouse Adventures an ad?
Kids: How does Barbie's relationship with her siblings compare to yours? What is special about a sibling bond as opposed to a friendship? What kinds of activities do you enjoy doing with your brothers and/or sisters?
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