What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this perky cartoon series will appeal to most horse-loving tween girls (and probably a good portion of those who aren't on a pony kick, too), but many boys will probably roll their eyes and dismiss it as a "girl show." Some of the characters are a bit boy crazy and otherwise one dimensional, but young viewers will still walk away with a few decent life lessons.
What's the story?
HORSELAND, which started life as a homemade computer game in 1994 and eventually became a bona fide Web hit (millions of users have signed up to create and care for virtual dogs and horses), is now a full-grown TV colt. The series chronicles the adventures of a group of friends and their beloved horses; together they go on camping trips and other expeditions. Whenever trouble arises (and it inevitably does -- episodes have featured predicaments such as getting trapped in a forest fire) the friends rely on their horses to help save the day.
Is it any good?
Many of the human characters are, unfortunately, a bit stereotypical -- the girls are obsessed with boys, makeup, and wisecracks. But they treat their horses with care and respect, which sets a good example for young viewers. And even though there are times when the horses shake their heads at human carelessness, when it comes down to it, they respect the girls right back.
Horseland doesn't exactly break any new tween cartoon ground, but it's a harmless show that kids (especially those infatuated with horses) can relate to, and it always offers a decent lesson or two.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about human and animal behavior. How are the humans and animals in Horseland similar? How are they different? How do humans and animals work together in real life? For kids who use the Web site: Why do you think the producers decided to make a TV show? What do the show and the site have in common? What is unique to each?