A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The show intends to entertain rather than to educate.
Kids see five very different girls forge a close friendship that benefits each one. Though they have different interests and goals, the girls are drawn to each other's passion and enthusiasm for achieving. Each story presents them with a challenge that's too easily solved but that conveys good messages about responsibility, forgiveness, and overcoming adversity.
Positive Role Models
Each girl has a passion for something different, from horseback riding to music. Even so, the girls aren't perfect, but they are willing to learn from their mistakes and are eager to help. Adults are secondary to the stories, but when they're present, they help guide the girls in positive ways, as when Olivia's aunt encourages her to meet new people and make friends.
Products & Purchases
The show often feels like a lengthy commercial for the Lego Friends line of toys, taking care to spotlight various buildings and accessories in the course of an episode. Even those that don't look like traditional Lego structures have features that show them as such.
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.
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.