Llama Llama

TV review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Llama Llama TV Poster Image
 Parents recommend
Beloved books inspire charming, family-friendly series.

Parents say

age 3+
Based on 22 reviews

Kids say

age 2+
Based on 4 reviews

We think this TV show stands out for:

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Educational Value

Emphasizes social and emotional learning for the preschool set by putting the characters in situations that challenge them to become better people (er, animals) and friends. It's not always a first-try fix, either, so they learn to be patient with themselves and others as they work toward a solution.

 

Positive Messages

Characters learn valuable lessons about handling emotions, managing relationships, and resolving conflict, among other themes. The stories relate to kids' life experiences, centering on challenges like dealing with a difficult peer and expressing feelings in constructive ways. Adults are a consistently positive influence, offering gentle guidance and advice while standing firm on rules of behavior. Strong messages about friendship, kindness, and respect throughout.

Positive Role Models & Representations

You'd be hard pressed to find a better role model than Mama Llama. Her kind and loving nature helps Llama Llama weather various tribulations. She encourages him to identify and express his feelings, then works with him to decide on a solution. Other adults are similarly effective, though less prominent, role models. Llama Llama and his friends often make mistakes, which sometimes hurt feelings or cause other trouble, but they always learn from them and change their behavior going forward. Friends include Audrey, an antelope with a disability who is welcomed by Llama Llama's group. 

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

This series is based on the popular book series by Anna Dewdney.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Llama Llama is an animated series based on Anna Dewdney's popular picture books about young Llama Llama (voiced by Shayle Simons). It emphasizes positive qualities like kindness, empathy, respect, and generosity in stories that will especially resonate with young kids but are enjoyable enough to appeal to a broader audience, including parents. Often the lessons come as the consequence of misguided behavior on the part of Llama Llama or one of his friends. But with the gentle guidance of Mama Llama (Jennifer Garner) and other grown-ups, the young characters learn to make better choices, resolve conflict in constructive ways, and be open to trying new things. This delightful, thoughtfully written series is a must-see, especially for those who love Dewdney's books.

 

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byAmanda L. February 10, 2018

Real life learning

I disagree with the review that they dislike the fact that there is no dad. I think this is awesome. No that she is a single mom but that the show represents a... Continue reading
Adult Written byraygunn76 October 18, 2018

Stick with the Books!

We had been big fans of Anna Dewdney's Llama and Nelly books in our house, much before we started letting our toddler watch any TV. This series does nothin... Continue reading
Kid, 10 years old July 27, 2018

Cute characters but bad morals.

My little brother happened to be watching the episode where Llama is at the store and misbehaves. My brother, all of the sudden, started misbehaving as well. My... Continue reading
Kid, 10 years old June 4, 2018

The best netflix show EVER!!!!!!!!

I may be a bit old to watch this, but I find it funny and entertaining. Share it with the family

What's the story?

Anna Dewdney's beloved book characters arrive on the small screen in the animated series LLAMA LLAMA. Starring Jennifer Garner as the voice of Mama Llama, Llama Llama tells the story of adventurous young Llama (voiced by Shayle Simons) and his best friends Nelly Gnu (Islie Hirvonen), Luna Giraffe (Vania Gill), and Euclid Sheep (Brenden Sunderland). Stories generally center on Llama coping with a challenge of some kind, from fretting over a change to dealing with a meanie at school. When he turns to Mama Llama for help, the two talk about his feelings and devise a constructive way of handling the situation.

Is it any good?

This sweet series is every bit as relatable and affirming as the books that introduced these delightful characters to millions of grateful fans. As in Dewdney's picture books, simplicity is key to Llama Llama's success. Everything from the classic animation style to the gentle dialogue serves to focus viewers' attention on the stories and their solid themes of friendship, family, kindness, self-expression, and self-control. There aren't a lot of bells and whistles here, but that's by design, and it works beautifully for the show's purpose.

Even without knowing the books, viewers will quickly fall in love with plucky Llama Llama, stalwart Mama Llama, and the assortment of other animal characters who populate these endearing stories. Happily, the tales lean heavily on the books' content for inspiration, so the episodes will look and sound familiar to fans who have read (or listened to) them, even if the conversational dialogue takes some getting used to after Dewdney's trademark rhyming verse. Perhaps best of all, such strong crossover between written word and screen entertainment is an excellent opportunity for parents to enjoy the heartwarming Llama Llama stories in both forms with their kids.  

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Llama Llama's relationships with his friends. How does he respond when he's upset by something someone else has done? How does it help for them to share their feelings with each other? Why is it important to consider other people's feelings?

  • Do Llama Llama and his friends always enjoy trying new things? Can doing so be scary? Exciting? Why is it important to be open to change? How can experiencing something new change you?

  • In what ways is Mama Llama a good role model for Llama Llama? What positive character traits do you see in her -- for example, empathy? How does she encourage Llama Llama to make good choices? Does he always like the advice and guidance she offers?

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love preschool fun

Character Strengths

Find more TV shows that help kids build character.

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