Doug Unplugs

TV review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Doug Unplugs TV Poster Image
Robot ditches data downloads to experience life firsthand.

Parents say

age 3+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Stands out for positive messages.

Educational Value

Doug's experiences teach viewers about concepts and activities like riding a bike, visiting a farm, and volunteering, but more so the idea that hard facts can only tell part of a story about something. The more Doug learns about new things, the more he wants to try them, and the more he tries them, the more he learns.

Positive Messages

The series emphasizes cooperation, courage in trying new things, and learning through making mistakes, as well as the value of balancing "plugged in" and "unplugged" time. 

Positive Role Models

Doug and Emma's contrasting personalities complement each other and inspire the fun they have. Doug’s robot parents sometimes dismiss his need to have his questions answered because they are busy with their work, but that encourages him to seek answers and experiences himself.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Doug Unplugs emphasizes the value of hands-on learning through the adventures of a young robot and his friend who acts as his tour guide for all kinds of human-world experiences. The series demonstrates a healthy balance between using "plugged-in" sources like the internet and "unplugged" methods like visiting new places and trying activities to learn about them. Doug and Emma show viewers that the learning process is best when it’s hands-on and that doing it with a friend makes it all the better. As they do, they experience feelings like excitement, curiosity, uncertainty, joy, and fulfillment. This lively series reminds viewers that there’s no substitute for learning by doing. 

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byAnthony42 November 21, 2020

Positive message but low quality

The message here is positive, but the show is pretty low quality and over stimulating. There are many unnecessary music sequences and the show does not expect m... Continue reading

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

What's the story?

DOUG UNPLUGS follows the excursions of a young robot named Doug (voiced by Brandon James Cienfuegos) who lets his curiosity guide adventures that teach him all about the human world. When Doug encounters a concept that’s not familiar, he plugs in to upload data that help him understand it better. Ever one to know more, though, he also turns to his human friend Emma (Kyrie Mcalpin) for experiential help, and together the two of them go on day trips, lend a hand in their community, try sports, and enjoy relationships with the people they meet, always discovering how much more there is to life than just the facts.

Is it any good?

Young Doug is an effective reminder to preschoolers of the value of experiencing life firsthand when it's tempting to turn to virtual information sources and call it a day. Doug gets all kinds of facts from his uploads and from his knowledgeably programmed robot friends and family, but he always gets the sense there's something missing from what he learns. What he discovers is that human emotions can't be conveyed by data dumps, and so much of learning comes from experiencing something first hand.

Doug's curiosity drives his adventures, but his gregarious and enthusiastic friend sure does ice the top of that cake. When Emma introduces him to something that she already knows about, she's a motivated guide who makes the experience extra fun. When both of them are learning as they go, they feed off each other's excitement and enjoyment. In so doing, they encourage each other to try unfamiliar things and to see repeat experiences in a new light.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about curiosity. How does asking questions help you learn? Who do you turn to with your questions? What other resources help you gather facts about new subjects? 

  • Kids: What would you tell Doug about the day's adventures that Emma didn't? What other experiences would you like to introduce him to? 

  • What discoveries does Doug make about human emotions? How do you cope with difficult or uncomfortable feelings? What activities inspire happy emotions for you?

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love preschool fun

Character Strengths

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