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 Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood is produced by The Fred Rogers Company and, aside from being an animated series centered on a young tiger, closely parallels the gentle tone and emphasis on social strategies that have made Mister Rogers' Neighborhood a TV icon. Preschoolers will be drawn to Daniel and his friends, and his experiences will validate the emotions they experience -- such as disappointment, sadness, frustration, and joy -- before demonstrating age-appropriate techniques for dealing with them. The show has strong messages about friendship and family bonds, as well as respect for curiosity, and each story offers opportunities for basic preschool skills like letter sounds and counting. This delightful series is a well-rounded choice for little kids, and parents who have fond memories of Mister Rogers will enjoy revisiting his messages with a new generation of characters.
What's the story?
From The Fred Rogers Company comes DANIEL TIGER'S NEIGHBORHOOD, an animated series that invites preschoolers into the friendly hometown of 4-year-old Daniel Tiger (voiced by Jake Beale), a curious, imaginative kid who loves to embark on adventures with his friends O the Owl (Zachary Bloch), Miss Elaina (Addison Holley), Katerina Kittycat (Amariah Faulkner), and Prince Wednesday (Nicholas Kaegi). As Daniel and his pals explore their world, they find things don't always work out according to plan, but each misfortune can be turned into a positive opportunity if they have a positive attitude. Through songs, stories, and make believe, Daniel and his viewers learn the value of friendship and emotional flexibility, which helps them navigate the choppy waters of growing up.
Is it any good?
This endearing show was inspired by the award-winning Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, and its relationship to this iconic kids' series gives parents good reason to tune in with their tots. Kids who are brand new to the Mister Rogers characters will take an immediate shine to this modern animated generation, and moms and dads who cut their teeth on King Friday, X the Owl, and Lady Elaine Fairchilde will delight in the touches of the classics noticeable in those characters' preschool-age kids, nieces, and nephews. And the parallels don't stop there; Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood pays respectful homage to Mister Rogers with its music, its stories, and, of course, its very welcoming host.
And, not content to just look and sound like the original, Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood appeals to preschoolers on a level that only animation can, taking the opportunity to teach them important interpersonal and pre-reading skills. Because Daniel speaks directly to his audience, kids feel like they're part of the story from the beginning, and they'll feel his disappointments, share his joys, and learn lessons along with him. Need another reason to love it? Its seamless incorporation of preschool skills like counting and phonics is a good reminder of how easily these can be practiced when you're playing with your kids.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about relationships. How do Daniel and his friends show their affection for one another in Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood? What are your favorite things to do for your friends or your siblings?
Kids: What problem did the characters face in this episode? How did it make them feel? How were they able to deal with it? What, if anything, would you have done differently?
Parents can use this opportunity to talk about how people rely on each other in a neighborhood or a town. What roles do people play in the town where you live? What would happen if no one did these jobs?
- Premiere date: September 3, 2012
- Cast: Addison Holley, Jake Beale, Zachary Bloch
- Network: PBS Kids
- Genre: Educational
- Topics: Friendship, Great boy role models, Great girl role models, Wild animals
- Character strengths: Communication, Compassion, Curiosity, Empathy, Teamwork
- TV rating: TV-Y
- Available on: DVD, Streaming
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