Hip Hop Harry



Rapping bear's tunes help preschoolers learn.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Positive themes promoted include working as a team, friendly competition, and ways to support others. The kid actors/dancers are a diverse bunch.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this educational series uses music and rhyming to support preschoolers' language, social, cognitive, and physical development. The show's cast includes a loveable, street-savvy bear; two adult deejays; and a group of school-aged dancers (both boys and girls). Each episode features a relatable situation or problem (such as sisters on opposing dance teams), which Harry talks to the kids about against a backdrop of dance, songs, and rap. The show brings contemporary culture down to preschoolers' level with color, movement, excitement, and lots of learning.

What's the story?

"When I say Hip Hop, you say Harry." About the only problem parents are going to have with HIP HOP HARRY is unconsciously repeating the show's catchy songs and rhymes (like that one) to themselves while driving, showering, or even working. Big yellow bear Harry is cool -- he raps, he dances, and he helps kids solve problems, making Hip Hop Harry a great addition to television geared toward preschoolers. Think of him as an updated Barney; Harry has the purple dinosaur's silly lovability and sweetness, but he also pops, breaks, and can rhyme just about any word.

Is it any good?


Music and dance are popular themes in many children's TV shows, from The Wiggles to Hi-5. Hip Hop Harry does a nice job of integrating the music into the show's content, using specific situations to support different areas of development. For example, the kids are split into teams for a dance contest. They face social challenges (what if I win and my sister loses?). Also, they're working hard as they practice -- earning musical reminders to drink lots of water, warm up before activities, and rest when necessary.

Hip Hop Harry features a multi-racial cast of kid dancers and actors. They all look squeaky clean and face their challenges with a level of calmness that any parent will see right through -- but preschoolers will fall for it and be genuinely interested in how the problems are solved. And with all the dancing in each episode, it shouldn't be too hard to get kids to turn off the TV afterward and start moving around.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the problems the kids in the show face in each episode. Kids, would you do everything the same way the kids do or your own way? Why? Parents, do the ways these kids solve problems in the show seem too polished and performed? Parents can also help kids learn more about hip hop. Which other genres does it come from? How is it different from other music your kids like? Kids, what kind of music really makes you want to get up and dance?

TV details

Cast:David Joyner
Network:Discovery Kids
Topics:Music and sing-along, Wild animals
TV rating:TV-G
Available on:DVD

This review of Hip Hop Harry was written by

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Adult Written byevilhippy April 9, 2008

it killed me

I'm not a big fan of Barney, but Hip Hop Harry surely made Barney THE coolest show in the world to me.
Adult Written byanmiller1984 April 9, 2008

I Love This Show!

My kids and I sing the songs together all day long. I record the shows every morning on my DVR so that my children can watch the show in the morning while getting ready for daycare and school and again when they return home. This is the best show ever! My sons are one and three years old and they love to dance so when the dance parts play they jump up and dance as if they were apart of the show. It is the cutest thing to see in the morning.
Teen, 14 years old Written by96grlpowrCE June 13, 2010

Kind of a weird show, but very educational.

This would be an excellent show for kids to watch growing up because of the educational value and whatnot. It's kind of a weird show, but it teaches kids about stuff like healthy eating and teamwork and that's always a good thing.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models


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