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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that H2O: Mermaid Adventures is an animated series based on the popular Aussie show H2O: Just Add Water. This story parallels the original -- three friends are magically transformed into mermaids on a trip to a mysterious island -- and its strong themes of friendship, self-confidence, and self-image are evident here as well. Because the girls can talk to the ocean creatures they encounter, there are some opportunities to learn about some of the species that inhabit the Australian coastal waters. Expect some tense moments that show bullying or characters in peril (a turtle caught in a fishing net, for instance), but the endings are always happy.
What's the story?
H2O: MERMAID ADVENTURES is the story of three friends united by a magical secret. An overnight trip to Mako Island changes the lives of Cleo, Rikki, and Emma when a mystical force transforms them into mermaids and gives them powers to manipulate water. Even better, they discover they can communicate with other ocean creatures and soon make all sorts of new underwater friends. But keeping their secret won't be easy, so they lean on their friend Louis to help guard their magical identities.
Is it any good?
This engaging animated series has strong examples of friendship and self-esteem that will resonate with young audience members. What Rikki, Cleo, and Emma initially see as an inconvenience quickly becomes an exciting new adventure for them, and they embrace all that their new identities enable them to do. Rather than focusing on what the change has cost them (most obviously the ability to touch water without transforming, which has its complications), they embrace how it's altered their life in positive ways, giving them new friends and new opportunities.
Much of H2O: Mermaid Adventures' plot parallels what was established in the live-action series on which it's based, but there are a few notable changes that will further delight kids. The fact that the girls can talk to the sea creatures they meet opens up a whole new pool of characters to enjoy, from Zita the curious eel to Sue the mystical manta ray. As Rikki, Cleo, and Emma balance their lives under the sea and onshore, they're challenged in new ways as individuals and as a team.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why the girls have to keep their secret in H2O: Mermaid Adventures. How do you think people would react if they knew the girls are mermaids? Does this justify keeping a secret from their families? Is it ever OK for your kids to keep secrets from you?
Kids: What qualities make you different from your friends? Is being different a bad thing? Do you ever feel pressure to be just like everyone else?
Kids: If you could have one magical power, what would it be? How would you use it to help people? In what ways are regular people heroes in your community?
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