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James the Cat



Sophisti-catted tales best for older preschoolers.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

James is a sweet if somewhat aloof "fat cat" given to complaining (though he always steps up when occasion demands). He and his garden friends get along well and tolerate one another's differences.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable

Occasional uses of words like "stupid."

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this series (a British import), while entertaining and original, sometimes has confusing, choppy storylines. The youngest viewers may find the show's dialogue (which is all performed by two male actors who use a range of accents) and pacing hard to follow and some of the messages complex. That makes it a better fit for slightly older, more sophisticated kids who have more experience sticking with a story.

Parents say

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What's the story?

In British import series JAMES THE CAT, children are introduced to a group of eccentric animals who live in the large garden of a grand corner house. James, the title character, is a regal, self-important diplomat who once lived the cozy life inside but was forced to start roughing it after his owners moved. The series chronicles the events in the garden as James and his wildlife cohorts -- a colorful group of animals that includes Rocky, an ex-prizefighting rabbit; Mrs. Lavender, an Irish snail; Ma and Pa Rat and their children; Citroen, a French dog that serves as a messenger between James and his faraway Aunt Maude; and Dennis, a pink, fire-eating dragon sent by Aunt Maude to look out for James -- learn to coexist. Many of the animals appreciate James' delusions of grandeur, but they also poke fun, contributing to much of the show's humor. When a problem comes up that only James can handle, he magically travels to foreign lands to resolve it with powerful international characters.

Is it any good?


James the Cat stretches young minds with magical ideas and characters, making it a refreshing departure from run-of-the-mill cartoon messages. And the idea of all sorts of animals living together in a garden is charming and appropriate for all ages. That said, the show can sometimes be a bit impenetrable for very young children. The stories move quickly, and some words are mumbled in foreign accents. For those reasons, it's a better fit for slightly older or more sophisticated kids.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about why James travels the world to solve problems. What is a diplomat? Does James fit his role well? Why does he complain so often? Parents may have to explain the role of some characters. Why are Ma and Pa Rat sometimes sneaky? Why does Dennis the pink dragon appear from nowhere to help when James is in a bind?

TV details

Cast:Alistair McGowan, Sean Arnold
Genre:Kids' Animation
Topics:Magic and fantasy
TV rating:TV-Y

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 9 years old August 14, 2012

i love this show!!!

i loved it when i was 3 years old! and it's sad that they canceled it.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Kid, 8 years old December 14, 2010


What other families should know
Great role models


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