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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Goldie & Bear is a preschool series inspired by classic fairy tales such as Jack and the Beanstalk, The Three Little Pigs, Little Red Riding Hood, and, of course, Goldilocks and the Three Bears. The show assumes viewers' working knowledge of the characters' original stories and often references them (the "porridge incident" and the Big Bad Wolf's feisty temper, for instance), but kids can easily follow what's going on without prior knowledge, and they may want to hear the backstories after watching. Where infamous villains exist, they're far less threatening here than they are in the originals, coming off more grumpy and self-indulgent than truly mean. Friendship, kindness, and helpfulness are recurring themes in this enjoyable CGI series.
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What's the story?
GOLDIE & BEAR follows precocious Goldie (voiced by Natalie Lander) and her new pal Bear (Georgie Kidder), who have struck up a friendship after the infamous "porridge incident" that marked their meeting. The two spend their days traversing the Fairy Tale Forest, home to fellow characters such as the Three Little Pigs, Jack and Jill, and Humpty Dumpty. Each day brings them a new challenge to overcome or friend to help in some way, which they always do with a smile, a song, and a lesson learned from the experience.
Is it any good?
This vibrant series is a win-win for kids; those who know the classic tales will enjoy this creative continuation of the stories, and those who don't will get a sweet first glimpse at the characters. As with any reinvention of a longtime favorite, some liberties are taken in the writing (the middle of the three pigs is a girl, for instance), but overall the show does an excellent job blending the characters into a cohesive cast while still retaining important aspects of each one's story.
Such a friendly group of characters makes easy work of Goldie & Bear's heartwarming messages, and fun songs emphasize each episode's theme. It's also a safe bet that Goldie & Bear will pique your kids' curiosity about the classic fairy tales that inspire it, which bodes well for finding material for family reading time.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what Goldie and Bear's friendship implies about not judging a book by its cover. What were the circumstances under which they met? Do you think they liked each other right away? Have your kids ever had to work at a friendship that didn't work at first?
Kids: Which characters are your favorites? Are you familiar with their stories? How are traces of those stories present in this one?
Kids: Which, if any, of the characters seem like troublemakers? Do they ever learn lessons from their negative behavior? Are they ever scary? How do these characters compare to their likenesses in the original stories?
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