Creative Galaxy: Arty's Holiday Masterpiece

TV review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Creative Galaxy: Arty's Holiday Masterpiece TV Poster Image
Tale celebrates holiday diversity, creative problem solving.

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Educational Value

The show incorporates some basic preschool skills like counting and color identification, as well as more general examples of characters following directions to complete a project. The characters' diverse holiday traditions expose kids to some elements of each, including a mkeka mat for Kwanzaa celebrations and a dredel and menorah for Hanukkah.

 

Positive Messages

Kids see Arty and his friends joyfully prepare for their respective holiday celebrations while eagerly learning about each other's traditions with respect to Christmas, Kwanzaa, and Hanukkah. When trouble creeps up, Arty suggests using art to fix the problems. The characters' experiences celebrate artistic expression and creative problem-solving skills. Strong themes of friendship, respect, and diversity.

 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Arty believes that any problem can be fixed with a little creativity, and if their experiences are any indicator, he is right. He and his friends don't let life's little foibles get them down. They put their heads together and devise ways to put their personal touches on their solutions. Adults are secondary characters, but they help advise and guide the youngsters in their projects.

 

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

This holiday special is part of the Creative Galaxy series.

 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Creative Galaxy: Arty's Holiday Masterpiece teaches kids about traditions related to Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa in a sweet story about friends who use art to solve problems. Creative Galaxy is known for inspiring preschoolers' interest in art and artistic expression, and this special continues that with its story about friends creating decorations for their respective celebrations. It incorporates some preschool learning skills like basic number sense and color awareness, as well as the importance of following directions. Adult characters help spark kids' creativity without directing it, so their finished projects truly are their own work. The show concludes with a live-action segment in which three kids design and make their own art to give as gifts, and each project is simple enough for viewers to do at home.

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What's the story?

In CREATIVE GALAXY: ARTY'S HOLIDAY MASTERPIECE, Arty (voiced by Meesha Contreras) and his friends are busy getting ready for their respective winter holidays when the cookie ornament Arty makes as a Christmas surprise for his family magically comes to life and runs away! Arty sets off to find him with help from his friends, but trouble doubles when Annie's (Lilly Bartlam) mkeka mat for Kwanzaa disappears and Jackson's (Devan Cohen) menorah gets broken, sending them into the galaxy in search of ways to use art to save the day. As they do so, Arty learns more about his friends' holiday traditions while searching for the elusive gift that will make Christmas extra special for his family.

Is it any good?

This sweet holiday special invites viewers of different backgrounds with its inclusive content that celebrates not just one but three major winter holidays -- Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa. Each character shares a bit of what his/her respective traditions involve, teaching kids in the audience as they enlighten their friends onscreen and treating all of the experiences with equal respect. By centering the stories on the characters re-creating treasured holiday objects, Arty's Holiday Masterpiece also suggests some fairly simple craft projects that families could do at home.

This story doesn’t just suggest that creativity is a vital problem-solving skill, it shows it in action with characters whose galaxy is a veritable art project of its own. The animation emphasizes visual texture and colors in intriguing ways, and Arty's travels take him to planets inspired by various art media like fabric and clay. He and his friends must think outside the box to solve their problems, drawing inspiration from their imaginations and the resources they have at their disposal.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how the characters' holiday traditions compare to each other. What kinds of decorations are involved in Christmas? In Hanukkah? In Kwanzaa? What does each of these holidays celebrate? Which one(s) does your family celebrate?  

  • How do the arts allow you to express yourself in different ways? What tools and materials do you use in art forms like sculpture, painting, and drawing? Do you enjoy the performing arts like singing, dancing, and acting?

  • In what ways do you notice the characters persevering through adversity in Creative Galaxy: Arty's Holiday Masterpiece? Why do you think perseverance is an important character strength? Do you agree with Arty that creativity and art can solve many problems?

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