A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Legends of Chima is an animated series based on a line of LEGO toys, so, as with LEGO Ninjago: The Series, the show doubles as a lengthy commercial for the many toys and games that bear its name. The story centers on a community of animals at war, so expect a fair amount of conflict and peril, but the fact that the characters are animated LEGOs greatly lessens the impact of this content. Issues like prejudice, emotional manipulation, and traitorism are explored on an age-appropriate level, and the messages that emerge laud honesty, forgiveness, and selflessness.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
For years the residents of Chima have lived in harmony, enjoying equal shares of the mystical energy source called Chi. But then dissent breaks out among some animal tribes whose leaders want greater control of the Chi, and the community erupts into war. Once best friends, Lion Tribe Prince Laval (voiced by Scott Shantz) and Crocodile Tribe Prince Cragger (David Attar) are now bitter enemies leading the battle charge among the eight divided tribes. With the future of this once-peaceful land and the protection of the Chi at stake, this battle threatens the very essence of Chima and the preservation of its residents.
Is it any good?
LEGENDS OF CHIMA is a thoughtful, beautifully designed animated series that exceeds expectations for a story designed to sell accompanying toys. From the characters' complicated relationships to the mysticism behind the evolution of the talking animal species, this is far more than a one-dimensional tale meant to merely fill kids' time. Instead it explores friendship, trust, loyalty, and honesty against a backdrop of conflict that's mild enough to appeal to grade schoolers (and their parents).
Will the show add to the lure of LEGO's themed products for your kids? Absolutely, but this shouldn't be the only factor in your judgment of Legends of Chima. Its unique story offers numerous teaching moments that deal with issues like impulsiveness, emotional bullying, and the fallout of misplaced fear. Even better, the show is so enjoyable, you may want to tune in with your kids, which makes it easier to chat afterward about the topics it raises.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how the series affects the LEGO products' appeal. Are you more interested in playing with the toys now that you know the story behind the characters? Are you always drawn to products that bear the likeness of characters you see on TV?
Kids: What is this show's message about conflict? Are there other ways to resolve conflicts other than fighting? How do the characters' feelings about war differ? What roles do fear and prejudice play in accelerating the conflict?
Why is it fun to watch stories about animals or objects with human characteristics? Do they give us any insight into our relationships? Do any of the characters' traits remind you of someone you know? How would you respond to a situation like theirs?
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