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The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Mack & Moxy is a colorful preschool series about a team of puppet helpers who spend each episode finding a "Great Helpee" and learning a distinct lesson on the way. It's a lot of fun, but the lesson part of each episode sometimes isn't quite as engaging as the rest. But the mission to teach kids to help others and be good people is worthy, and kids will likely enjoy tagging along for the journey. The human helpers are diverse, as is the rotating cast of "Admirables," Mack and Moxy's bosses.
What's the story?
MACK & MOXY are puppets who, along with a human scout friend, get assignments from their boss, the Admirable. They're often tasked with going to "Helpee land" to find a hatching Helpee and help them with a problem. When they succeed, they spread happiness around the world. On the way, they'll learn about an important concept or skill, like how to buckle your seatbelt. Characters are seen in live action as well as animated worlds and work to find the glowing "helpee" orb before their arch nemesis -- Shellfish Sheldon -- does.
Is it any good?
This show is fast-paced, brightly colored, and has so much energy leading up to finding the person in need that the learning moments themselves can seem a bit anti-climactic. Despite this, the desire to help others is a positive goal to model for kids, and the characters are steadfast in their mission. Mack and Moxy's headquarters is filled with goofy antics, and the human scouts they recruit for in each 11-minute adventure are energetic and diverse. Parents will also enjoy seeing familiar faces when the "admirable" appears, as special guests often play these parts (i.e., Rachel Ray, Dean Norris, Keegan-Michael Key).
That said, the stories are short, and with the musical numbers and travel to and from Helpee land, it can be difficult to really get into the plot and what Mack and Moxy are doing to help the person in need. While the messages are repeated often and featured in a wrap up at the end to help ensure learning, some of the vocabulary is a bit over preschoolers' head (i.e., "organized play, resolving conflict, disputes"), which might make it harder for the messages to stick.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about each episode's problem what character strengths it might take to solve it. How do the characters in Mack & Moxy exhibit compassion as they help others? Why is that an important character strength?
Kids: Why do you think Mack and Moxy like helping others? Have you ever helped anyone? How did it make you feel?
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