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The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Beat Bugs pairs the Beatles songs performed by current artists with heartwarming stories about friendship, exploration, and problem-solving. Every kid-friendly story puts the characters -- five young bugs with dynamic personalities -- in a predicament that requires them to work together and share ideas to reach a solution. The lyrics of Beatles favorites such as "Ticket to Ride" and "When I'm Sixty-Four" are incorporated seamlessly into the dialogue, and the musical performances give the show the unique feel of a preschool-geared musical. Although there's always some sort of strife or interpersonal woe that generates a valuable learning opportunity, viewers will remember the positive lessons more than the troubles that inspire them.
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What's the story?
In BEAT BUGS, insect friends Jay (voiced by Ashleigh Ball), Kumi (Erin Mathews), Crick (Lili Beaudoin), Buzz (Rebecca Husain), and Walter (Charles Demers) explore the home they share in a suburban backyard. In a place where blades of grass are as tall as trees, these bugs find no end to fun adventures, but they also learn that even their best times together can pose challenges to their friendship and require some problem-solving skills. This series is set to modern performances of Beatles music by Pink, Sia, and numerous other accomplished artists.
Is it any good?
This unique series borrows some of rock-and-roll's most recognizable lyrics to help tell its gentle stories and teach excellent life lessons. While the pairing seems odd in theory (Beatles songs and kids' programming?), Beat Bugs pulls it off in a surprising way that makes this show a real contender for parents and tots to watch together. Even if Beatles albums aren't on your daily playlist, it's hard not to like the able performances of stars such as James Corden and Regina Spektor, and it's a good bet you know enough of the lyrics to appreciate how aptly the show matches them with the characters' experiences.
Beat Bugs' exceptional animation takes full advantage of a fun backyard setting where everyday people items become playthings, obstacles, and creative inspiration for the minute characters. So much effort is put into visual detail of small touches, such as a chip in a plastic spoon or the texture of a piece of string, that the bugs' world really comes to life on the screen. With just as much care given to the show's thoughtful content, well-rounded characters, and the messages it sends to its young audience, this unique series is an excellent pick for young kids.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about hands-on learning. What are your kids' favorite things to play outside? Do they enjoy playing with friends or in more solitary endeavors? How does exploring help us better understand the world around us? Does Beat Bugs inspire you to explore?
Kids: Does being friends mean that you always get along and see eye to eye? How does it feel to disagree with someone close to you? How do you fix things when you hurt someone's feelings?
Was the music in this show familiar to your kids? Do you enjoy listening to music? How about singing? What are your kids' favorite songs?
- Premiere date: August 1, 2016
- Cast: Ashleigh Ball, Erin Mathews, Charles Demers
- Network: Netflix
- Genre: Kids Musical TV
- Topics: Adventures, Bugs, Friendship, Great Boy Role Models, Great Girl Role Models
- Character Strengths: Teamwork
- TV rating: NR
- Available on: Streaming
- Award: Common Sense Seal
- Last updated: September 19, 2019
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.
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