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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Jim Henson's Animal Show with Stinky and Jake features Muppets entertainingly teaching about animals living in the wild. It contains brief conversations about mommies having babies, and occasionally animals are shown being born. There's some gentle conversations about animals eating other animals, and, despite the lack of graphic footage, sensitive children may find it upsetting. It's meant for preschoolers, but grownups will learn a lot, too.
What's the story?
JIM HENSON'S ANIMAL SHOW WITH STINKY AND JAKE is a Muppet series that teaches about animal species, habits, and behaviors. Hosted by Jake the Polar Bear (voiced by puppeteer Steve Whitmire) and Stinky the Skunk (Dave Goelz), it features wildlife video footage to teach children about wildlife, nature, and the environment. Appearances by animal guests explain more about their natural habitats, what they like to eat, and the special skills they have. Rounding out the show are regular appearances by Armstrong the Chickenhawk (Bill Barretta), Ollie the Tapir, and Tizzy the Bee (both voiced by Karen Prell). The cockroach chef Yves St. LaRoache (Mak Wilson) also makes things fun.
Is it any good?
From explaining how gazelles attempt to survive cheetah attacks to describing the fussy eating habits of the koala bear, the Emmy-nominated series offers lots of details about a wide range of animals. But Jim Henson's Animal Show with Stinky and Jake is humorous, too, thanks to some lighthearted Jim Henson-style sketches.
There's a lot to be learned here, but, despite attempts to explain things such as animal hunting habits in gentle, nonthreatening ways, sensitive children may still find some of the information alarming. Nonetheless, it's a colorful and fun way to teach children (and adults) about wildlife.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about animals. How many kinds of animals are there? What makes each one different or special? Why is it important to learn about them, even if they live far away from us? How do TV shows like Jim Henson's Animal Show with Stinky and Jake help us do that?
Does this show look like other shows you usually watch? What makes it different? Can you tell by looking at it when it was created?
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