Liberty's Kids

 
Worthwhile 'toon walks tweens through American history.

What parents need to know

Educational value

The show’s objective is to bring to life the pages of tweens’ history books, and it tells factual tales of the birth of America through the eyes of young characters so kids can relate. Real-life players like Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, and Paul Revere enter into the story in factual ways.

Positive messages

The series makes history entertaining for viewers, telling factual stories through the eyes of youthful characters. The show pays respect to the courage and dedication required of the colonists to overthrow the British influence in America.

Positive role models

Characters young and old are willing to put their lives on the line for a cause they believe in. James, Sarah, and Henri learn to use their strengths to their advantage to outwit the intimidating British forces and fight for independence.

Violence & scariness

The show adheres to historical fact, so some segments center on key battles in the American Revolution, and injuries and death do result from the fighting. The issue of treason is at the forefront as well, and at least one execution occurs. The heroes often find themselves in perilous situations as they’re pursued by British troops.

Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that if ever there was a worthwhile TV series for tweens, this is it. The fact that each episode is a self-contained lesson in American history does nothing to diminish its entertainment value. James, Sarah, and Henri are typical kids with a natural curiosity about what’s going on around them, so their young viewers get to see important historical events like the Boston Tea Party and the Battle of Bunker Hill from their perspective. Because the show strives to adhere to historical fact, many storylines include violence and death (and in at least one case, execution), so it’s not appropriate for little kids, but it’s an enjoyable series that offers tweens an impressive amount of substance.

What's the story?

LIBERTY’S KIDS is a historical fiction cartoon that centers on three kids immersed in the events leading up to America’s independence. Orphaned as a baby, James (voiced by Chris Lundquist) finds a hero in Benjamin Franklin (Walter Kronkite) and devotes himself to his work as an apprentice in Franklin’s print shop to disperse information about the colonies’ revolt against Britain. James’s friend Sarah (Reo Jones) is an English guest of Franklin’s, and despite James’s dedication to the cause, she’s not sure whether she supports it. Joined by a young French immigrant named Henri (Kathleen Barr), the teens travel throughout the colonies, following the political and military engagements that eventually give way to America’s breach from English rule.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

History has never been as enticing as when it’s told through the eyes of someone kids can relate to, and the young heroes and heroines of Liberty’s Kids are just right for the job. The diversity that exists among them and the people they meet -- including their friend Moses (D. Kevin Williams), a self-emancipated slave -- reflects the unique multicultural appearance of America at its inception.

The kids’ journeys bring them face to face with historical heroes and epic moments in the country’s history, and tweens can tag along for a firsthand look at how things went down. The series boasts an incredible voice cast with the likes of Billy Crystal, Sylvester Stallone, and Annette Bening lending their talents to a few of the rotating historical figures. For tweens, this series is a wonderful complement to their traditional history studies, but because it includes war scenes and in some cases deals with death, it’s not a great choice for younger kids.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how the show presents historical events. Do you think the stories adhere to facts? Did you notice any discrepancies between your knowledge of the events and what's in the show? What attempts does the show make to incorporate America’s diverse heritage?

  • Tweens: Does this show change how you feel about American history? How is our view of history skewed by the media through which we receive the information? What time periods in history most interest you? Why?

  • Is it possible for TV to be truly educational? Is this series a good example of educational media? What other shows have you seen that have taught you something? How are different branches of the media used as teaching tools?

TV details

Cast:Chris Lundquist, Reo Jones, Walter Kronkite
Network:Syndicated
Genre:Kids' Animation
TV rating:NR
Available on:DVD, Streaming

This review of Liberty's Kids was written by

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Adult Written byWaterNymph March 18, 2011
age 2+
 

Educational, wholesome show!

I used to love this show. :) Very educational. I still remember some of the information I got from it as a kid. Highly, highly, highly recommend it!
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Kid, 10 years old June 2, 2013
age 9+
 

Learning and watching

This is a great TV series for older kids as they are learning about the revolutionary war. It is a fun way to learn about america's history by following characters. it is not your ordinary cartoon, it is very educational but kids under 9 might not get the topic. There are some violent scenes like battles in the war.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Teen, 13 years old Written byrebma97 February 17, 2011
age 7+
 

Good, educational show for tweens+

I remember watching this show when I was younger, and I think it does a good job portraying American history. I understand it more now that I'm older. Although there are wars mentioned, it's not that violent and it shows what really happened.
What other families should know
Too much violence

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