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 Lego Friends is an animated series based on the characters and play sets in the Lego toy line of the same name, so it serves the dual purpose of entertaining kids and promoting merchandise. The characters are five strong, big-hearted teen girls who are good examples of the value of friendship. Social rivalry and other troubles arise in each story, but the girls overcome them in ways that celebrate cooperation, responsibility, and individuality. However, despite these positive messages, this somewhat plodding series feels more like an extended commercial than it does a solid contender for kids' attention.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
As a newcomer to Heartlake City, Olivia feels lonely and out of place, but a chance encounter with Andrea, Emma, Stephanie, and Mia changes all that. Despite their differences, these five teens become the best of friends, and adventures soon follow. From planning a surprise party to rescuing the town's marquee animal event, these pals show there's nothing they can't get through when they work together.
Is it any good?
This CGI series is pleasant enough, and its themes are worthwhile for kids, but it lacks a certain pizzazz that would convince parents it's more than just a lengthy Lego commercial. The stories are formulaic and seem designed for product placement, often hopping from one venue (ahem, play set) to another without furthering the plot. There are even instances of structures falling into heaps of bricks for no particular reason other than to remind those watching that they are indeed made of Legos.
Even so, LEGO FRIENDS captures the best qualities of friendship and illustrates them nicely for kids. Olivia and her friends never let their differences get in the way of what makes them alike, and they always appreciate each other's special qualities. It's not a perfect production, but this show has some merit for kids, so long as watching doesn't give them the "gimmes" when they walk down the Lego aisle at the store.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what makes the characters such good friends. Are there qualities they all share? Do any of them have similar interests? Do you always agree with your friends? When you don't, how do you settle your differences?
Kids: Does watching this show and others like it make you want the toys that are featured? Do you think that's what this show's purpose is? Why do we like to have products with characters' faces on them?
How has the evolution of devices changed how kids play? What can be learned by hands-on play that isn't accessible in screen-based play? Similarly, what are the benefits to reading a story instead of watching one on TV or in a movie?
Themes & Topics
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