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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Fancy Nancy is a series inspired by Jane O'Connor's popular children's books, which center on a young girl (voiced by Mia Sinclair Jenness) who's confident and self-expressive. Nancy's elaborate wardrobe and vocabulary reflect her desire for all things fancy, and she encourages her friends to appreciate the same level of extravagance. What she learns, though, is that there's beauty in the diversity of people's differences -- and that by appreciating uniqueness in her friends, their relationships improve. There are strong messages about families, especially related to Nancy's fondness for her younger sister and her parents' supportiveness. A supporting character can be bossy and manipulative, which sometimes influences Nancy in negative ways, but she always makes positive decisions in the end and learns from the experience.
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What's the story?
A cherished book heroine bursts onto the screen in FANCY NANCY, the story of a six-year-old girl who LOVES everything fancy. Fancy clothes, fancy décor, fancy accessories ... Nancy Clancy (voiced by Mia Sinclair Jenness) wholeheartedly believes there's no call to be plain when just a little more effort can make you sublime (that's a fancy word for "fancy"). With her best friend, Bree (Dana Heath), by her side and her stupendous playhouse as the exotic locale for their play, Nancy does her best to make her fancy mark on the world, but it's often she who learns the value of celebrating the individuality of her friends and family.
Is it any good?
Nancy's exuberance for life translates beautifully from page to picture in this vibrant series that enhances an already beloved children's character. Young girls especially will adore Nancy's zest for excess as it relates to her wardrobe, her vocabulary, and her many endeavors. She doesn't just set up a lemonade stand, for instance; she creates a lemonade tasting experience, complete with instructions for proper pinky finger extension on the glass tilt. With Nancy, a little effort goes a long way, vision is key, and small touches make the difference between a satisfactory day and a stupendous one.
That said, Fancy Nancy's best quality is more subtle than the titular character's colorful attire. She's an obvious model of self-expression and the importance of being true to what makes you unique, but it's her awareness of and respect for her friends' individuality that really stands out. Nancy may think that everything is better with glitz and glamour, but she acknowledges that's not everyone's thing, and that's OK. In relating to her friends, Nancy reminds viewers that being different doesn't disqualify friendship, but with acceptance can enhance it.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about self-expression in Fancy Nancy. Kids: Do you express yourself through the clothes you wear or favorite toys you play with? Does doing so invite introductions to other people who share your interests?
Why is it important to respect the fact that other people's values and passions may be different from your own? Does that make one right and one wrong? How can you find common ground with someone who seems very different from you? What's the value in being compassionate and open to new ideas? Why is this an important character strength?
What other book characters have you seen brought to the screen? Is your favorite among them? How differently are you entertained by stories in a book than by similar stories on a TV series? Do you like to read (or be read to)? What kinds of stories are your favorites?
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