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 Littlest Pet Shop stars animated versions of characters from a popular toy line, so if your kids aren't already familiar with the tiny doe-eyed pets, they'll surely take note of them after watching the show. Two mean-girl types berate their peers, ragging on their clothing, their hobbies, and their choice of friends, and plotting mean-spirited pranks against them. On the plus side, the show's altruistic central character welcomes adventure, stays true to her values, and shows devotion in her new friendships with both her peers and the neighborhood pets, and her strength of character stems from a close relationship with her single-parent dad.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
LITTLEST PET SHOP follows the adventures of Blythe Baxter (voiced by Ashleigh Ball) as she and her dad move to a new apartment above the Littlest Pet Shop, a one-of-a-kind day camp for animals. Blythe strikes up a friendship with the animals after she realizes she can communicate with them. From abstract artist Minka Mark (Kira Tozei) to shop comedienne Pepper Clark (Tabitha St. Germain), this is a menagerie unlike any other, and with such diverse personalities under one roof, there are bound to be adventures and laughs all around.
Is it any good?
Littlest Pet Shop hangs its hat on the appeal of its bobble-headed animal stars more than on content that might outshine its well-known cast, betting that kids will keep coming back for more because they feel affection for the characters. It's a win-win position for the show -- if your kids already like the Littlest Pet Shop toys, then they'll be drawn to watching them in action onscreen; if not, then watching their personalities develop will endear one or more of them to kids and almost guarantee that will translate into sales of toys, games, and other products. It's a tricky issue that influences parents' decisions about the media their kids consume, and ultimately it boils down to kids' susceptibility to this kind of imbedded advertising.
Blythe is the shining star amid otherwise run-of-the-mill characters and frivolous content of the show, and in her, kids (and girls in particular) will find a model of integrity, self-confidence, loyalty, and creativity. Even though she's faced with a difficult situation in being the new kid in town, she stays true to her values and seeks out friends who accept her for who she is. In so doing, she's able to show kids the importance of liking yourself and resisting pressure to change for the sake of an "in crowd."
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about brand names. Kids: Were you already familiar with the Littlest Pet Shop toys? Does watching this show change your interest in them? Where else do you see or hear the toys' brand names in your daily life?
Do you have a favorite pet shop character in the show? What appeals to you about him or her? What makes him or her different from the others in the store?
How does being able to talk to Blythe help the animals? How does it change her feelings toward them? Why is it important to get to know a person before making a judgment about him or her?
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