Ni Hao, Kai-lan

Common Sense Media says

Cultural content, good messages make show a hit.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The series introduces preschoolers to Chinese culture and the Mandarin language through repetition and interactivity woven into age-appropriate storylines. Each episode also explores a lesson in social-emotional skills like patience, anger, and listening and demonstrates positive methods of coping with conflict. The lone adult figure is a great role model, often gently interceding when issues arise among the young friends.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that preschoolers will be drawn to this well-rounded cartoon that exposes kids to the basics of the Mandarin language and Chinese culture. Kids will easily relate to the stories of 5-year-old Kai-lan and her friends, and they'll learn constructive ways of handling social-emotional issues like fear, sharing, and jealousy. Song, dance, and plenty of interactivity add to this entirely kid-friendly package, and parents can feel good about both its educational quality and positive lessons.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Five-year-old Kai-lan (voiced by Jade-Lianna Gao Jian Peters) is an enthusiastic Chinese-American girl who loves to play with her best friends: Rintoo the tiger (Jack Samson), Tolee the koala (Khamani Griffin), Hoho the monkey (Angie Wu), and Lulu the rhino (Beverly Duan). Whether the group is racing dragon boats down the river, decorating for the traditional lantern festival, or heading out on a backyard safari, Kai-lan's adventures always mix fun with glimpses of her rich Chinese heritage. And when conflict arises, Kai-lan and her wise grandfather (Clem Cheung) are always ready to pitch in and help resolve the problem.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

NI HAO, KAI-LAN blends audience interactivity (ala Blue's Clues) with culturally and linguistically diverse content and thoughtful storylines, ensuring that preschoolers will be both curious and entertained. In each episode, viewers will pick up a new Mandarin word or phrase (starting with "Ni hao," which means "hello"), and basic skills like counting are used repetitively to encourage long-term retention. Stories always reflect some aspect of the Chinese culture, so youngsters will quickly learn to recognize and identify them.

This well-rounded series also wins points for its emphasis on positive messages; parents can feel good about its lessons in interpersonal problem solving. The stories are well crafted for the preschool audience, and kids will easily relate to the conflicts that arise among the friends and learn from the way they're resolved.<

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about dealing with emotions and working out problems with friends. Kids: Have you ever felt the way Kai-lan and her friends did? What did you think about how they handled their issue? Could you try that the next time you're in a similar situation? Families can also discuss their own cultural heritage and how it compares to Kai-lan's.

TV details

Cast:Clem Cheung, Jack Samson, Jade-Lianna Peters
Network:Nickelodeon
Genre:Kids' Animation
Topics:Friendship, Great girl role models, Wild animals
TV rating:TV-Y
Available on:DVD, Streaming

This review of Ni Hao, Kai-lan was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Parent of a 4 year old Written byTwin Mom1232 July 26, 2010
AGE
4
QUALITY
 

Bad Behavior of Characters Outweigh the Good Messages

I'm so happy to see other parents noticed a change in their children's behavior after watching this, because I did too! My 4-yr-old twins really liked this show, but then I began to notice my son stomping around the house, shouting constantly, kicking his sister, and throwing temper tantrums all the time. When I heard him repeatedly shout "I am SOOO mad!" it rang a bell and I watched Kai-Lan with them and sure enough, he was imitating the terrible behavior of Kai-Lan's bratty friends. So this adorable little show is now banned in our house. It's too bad though--my daughter loved it, and would clap like Kai-Lan to "figure out...what to do!" And hearing them repeat the Chinese phrases was really cute. I think regarding the show's other characters, parents will just have to see what their children take away from this show. Hopefully it's the good messages!
Parent of a 2 year old Written bystacey253 May 2, 2010
AGE
2
QUALITY
 

TAUGHT MY SON TO HIT, STOMP, AND ACT VIOLENT!

My 2 1/2 year old son mysteriously began using violence when he is not exposed to other little kids often to pick it up from them. I could not figure out where in the world he was learning terms like "I'm going to stomp you." He also began hitting and stomping on the floor, threatening to stomp me. I couldn't figure out how in the world my usually sweet little boy was learning to be so angry. Then I watched the show with him one day (he usually watched it w/his grammy/papa) and I heard the characters using these terms and hitting each other. Now my little man has a terrible problem with stomping, hitting, kicking, or acting in a violent manner whenever he does not like something or does not get his way. I think the opening credits of the show should make it very clear that the show is NOT for children under a certain age, because little tikes are not cognitively mature enough to pick up the message. In fact, all it did was TEACH my son the very behavior it was advocating against. I'm a little upset that I now have to un-train my son of this behavior. Hitting and violence is something the parents should teach, not something they learn on a child's cartoon by watching the characters act out in a violent manner. I would not recommend it to any child under 5.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Adult Written bysp. ed. teacher mom April 9, 2010
AGE
2
QUALITY
 

Why so much negativity?

I do not like this show! There's always an angry character who is mad, kicking sand, or having a tantrum. Last night my 21 month old daughter was watching and came into the kitchen and said, "I'm really made like tiger!" Why do they always have to have an angry character in each episode? It's so unnecessary!

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