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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that imaginative play, friendship, and discovery are common elements in Lily's Driftwood Bay. Young Lily uses simple treasures such as bits of cloth and pieces of driftwood to inspire a day's worth of adventures with her friends, and they learn about solving problems and helping each other along the way. Each character has a specific role within the community, and Lily has a particularly sweet relationship with her single-parent father. This darling series is, paradoxically, a great way to impress upon young kids the joy of simple, screen-free playtime.
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What's the story?
In LILY'S DRIFTWOOD BAY, an adventurous girl named Lily (voiced by Orlagh O'Keefe) lives in a beach hut with her father (Richard Dormer) in a quaint seacoast village. When the ocean lays a treasure at her feet, she uses it to imagine the goings-on in an imaginary distant place called Driftwood Bay. In Lily's dreams, a small swatch of fabric becomes evidence of an exciting carnival in the distance, and a mysterious key could unlock the secrets of any number of doors. This little seafarer is joined in her adventures by friends such as jolly Salty Dog (Peter Mullan), loyal Gull (Paul Currie), and helpful Hatsie Hen (Tameka Empson).
Is it any good?
Using an inventive mixed-media format that accentuates its detailed animation, this series draws inspiration from the evolving seacoast landscape and its many hidden treasures. Not only is the scenery reminiscent of that atmosphere, but many of the characters themselves are created from resident treasures such as driftwood, feathers, dried grass, and bits of shells and rocks that account for the show's striking and unique look.
Similarly unique is the primary focus of Lily's Driftwood Bay, which aims to show kids how much fun can be had with simple objects and a big imagination. Lily's adventures aren't the stuff of elaborate playhouses or structured guidelines for play. Instead she turns a small beach treasure such as a piece of seaweed or a floating bottle into the foundation for joy of her own making. For young kids born into a digital age such as this one, this is an excellent illustration of a valuable but elusive concept.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how Lily's adventures evolve. What kinds of things does she find that inspire the day's story in Lily's Driftwood Bay? How do her friends add to it? Are there any limits to what she can do in her imagination?
Kids: What places in and around your home are good for make-believe adventures? In what way do you incorporate toys and other objects in your play? What are your favorite scenarios to imagine?
Use this series to inspire unplugged fun with your family. Play a storytelling game or create simple props or costumes for imaginative play. In what ways is this kind of entertainment more enjoyable than watching TV or playing a video game?
- Premiere date: May 19, 2014
- Cast: Orlagh O'Keefe, Richard Dormer, Peter Mullan
- Network: Universal Kids
- Genre: Kids' Animation
- Topics: Adventures, Friendship, Great Girl Role Models, Ocean Creatures
- Character strengths: Compassion
- TV rating: TV-Y
- Available on: DVD, Streaming
- Last updated: September 20, 2019
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