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The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Handy Manny Great Garage Rescue is a TV special with strong messages for kids about being helpful, doing the right thing, standing up for a good cause, and solving problems. The characters' diversity reminds kids that people fill a variety of jobs within a community and that no person's individual talents are more or less important than another's. Characters speak in both Spanish and English, so kids are exposed to common terms like "amigo" and "muy bien," along with their translations. The emotional story surrounding Ruben's loss of his family's garage will tug at some viewers' heartstrings, but kids will revel in the happy ending and walk away mindful of the story's positive lessons.
What's the story?
Handy Manny (voiced by Wilmer Valderrama) and his trusty tool friends set out for Concrete Falls to help his brother, Ruben (Freddy Rodriguez), save his garage in HANDY MANNY GREAT GARAGE RESCUE. The town's mayor (Ed O'Neill) wants to tear down the garage that Ruben and Manny's father built and erect a mini mall in its place, but Ruben, Manny, and their friends join forces to prove how much the town needs the shop's services.
Is it any good?
This 45-minute special will captivate preschoolers with its colorful characters and their big personalities, and the varied cast illustrates for kids how diversity strengthens a community. Just as each person has a job to do -- and each tool performs a specific task -- it's the cooperation among the many different players that culminates in a successful job. This feel-good message exists in each of Ruben and Manny's repairs, each interpersonal relationship, and of course, the overall story of working together to save Ruben's garage.
It's impossible not to like these delightful characters and their cooperative approach to solving problems. There's even more cause for celebration in the story's strong messages about family heritage as it relates to Manny and Ruben's pride in their family's business and in their Hispanic culture. Even the songs in Handy Manny Great Garage Rescue incorporate kid-friendly themes in their lyrics, ensuring that kids won't miss out on the hearty content that this feel-good story has to offer.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about their heritage. What is your family's cultural background? How do you incorporate your heritage in your religious practices or family celebrations? How does your family's background help shape who you are?
Kids: How do the characters demonstrate positive qualities like friendship, dependability, and respect? How did these actions help improve their community? What can you do to help people in your own community?
Kids: Do you ever feel pressure to be like everyone else? How does it make you feel? What aspects about yourself do you think set you apart from your friends? Is it hard to stand out in a group?
- Premiere date: October 3, 2011
- Cast: Ed O'Neill, Freddy Rodriguez, Wilmer Valderrama
- Network: Disney Channel
- Genre: Kids' Animation
- Topics: Adventures, Friendship, Great Boy Role Models, Music and Sing-Along
- Character strengths: Perseverance, Teamwork
- TV rating: TV-Y
- Last updated: September 20, 2019
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