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Polly Pocket

TV review by
Mandie Caroll, Common Sense Media
Polly Pocket TV Poster Image
Toy-based show has smart girls, adventure.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value
Positive Messages

Special powers come with special responsibilities. Helping others is always the right thing to do. Use your talents to make a difference.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Polly, Lila, and Shani are adventurous, capable problem-solvers. Nicholas, a boy the girls initially dislike and show it via disappointment and eye rolling, joins the "Pocket Posse" mid-season; they all grow to like one another. Villains Griselle and her not-so-bright granddaughter Gwen commit all manner of crimes in their pursuit of the locket (impersonating, kidnapping, theft, etc.). Most characters appear white; two main characters, Shani and Nicholas, have brown skin. Background characters are generally diverse. Both stereotypical and non-stereotypical representations of gender (i.e. fashion-obsessed Lila, pink and purple as Polly's signature colors, Polly is a kid genius/inventor, Shani is a sci-fi geek, etc.).

Violence & Scariness

Some scenes of pursuit and kidnapping by an always angry Griselle, who is arrested once, but largely escapes consequences.

Language
Consumerism

Show was made to promote the re-release of Polly Pocket dolls in 2018; most of the "sets," like the pool party are similar to sets that can be purchased for the dolls. There is, however, no overt advertising in the shows themselves.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Polly Pocket is a cartoon series based on the dolls of the same name. Kid genius Polly gets a locket from her grandmother that can magically shrink her and friends Lali and Shani to four inches tall. Villain Griselle wants the locket so she can shrink and control the entire town, and most episodes are about the locket being stolen from the girls and the girls stealing it back. The girls seek to use their shrinking power for fun as well as making their town a better place to live, emphasizing values like doing the right thing even when it's hard and using your talents for the benefit of others. Polly and her friends are smart, capable kids who do a lot of problem solving and saving of the day. There's a mix of stereotypical (Lila is fashion-obsessed) and non-stereotypical gender representations (Shani is a sci-fi geek). Most characters are white, though two main characters, Shani and Nicholas have brown skin and dark hair. Scenes of pursuit, kidnapping, etc. are very mild and not scary. 

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What's the story?

POLLY POCKET, a kid genius, fixes her grandmother's long-broken locket and discovers it can shrink her down to only four inches tall. She shrinks her best friends Lali and Shani, and they discover that Polly's grandmother's college rival, Griselle, wants the locket for her own nefarious purposes. Gwen, Griselle's air-headed granddaughter becomes an accomplice in her grandmother's plot to steal the locket and control the town. Each episode or episode arc involves Griselle and Gwen stealing the locket, and the girls getting it back, sometimes with the girls saving townspeople from imminent dangers. The settings vary from amusement parks, beach vacations, girl scout camp, school dance, etc., but the episodes follow the basic lose-the locket-get it back formula.

Is it any good?

This product-based, moderately entertaining series has authentic girl characters that more or less avoid stereotypes, but the formulaic plotlines begin to feel repetitive rather quickly. Parents will appreciate the girls in Polly Pocket. Polly is a kid genius who is skilled at inventing high tech gadgets, Shani is a sci-fi geek, and even fashion-obsessed Lila is able to use her style knowledge to solve problems. The girls are basically supportive and kind towards one another, and they do the right thing in the end.

The villains are so villan-y that they come off as bumbling, so despite various kidnappings of the girls and attempts at controlling the entire town, nothing is ever very scary, and kids will know that the girls will save the day. Though there's no overt advertising, it'll be hard for adults, at least, to avoid the reality that this is basically one long commercial for the dolls. All criticism aside, it's not a disaster of a show, and for kids that like the dolls or enjoy predictability in their TV watching, this is a safe bet without concerns for violence or language.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the girls' unique talents in Polly Pocket. What does each one bring to the team as they solve problems and stop Griselle? Have you ever solved a problem using your own unique skills and talents?

  • How do you feel about how the girls initially treat Nicholas? How do their feelings about him change over time? Does Nicholas change as well?

  • This show is based on a doll you can buy in stores. Why do you think the company that makes the dolls also wanted to make a show? How do you feel about shows like this?

TV details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love animation

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