A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
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.
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
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.
Products & Purchases
This series is based on the popular book series by Anna Dewdney.
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.
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.
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.