A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
References to school projects and historical moments. Problem-solving skills are also frequently used.
Special abilities come with special responsibilities. Helping others is always the right thing to do. Anyone can make an impact. People are stronger working together. Difference and change can be positive things.
Positive Role Models
Polly, Lila, and Shani are adventurous, capable problem-solvers, as well as reliable, caring friends. Sometimes they break rules and lie to parents, but often in order to help others. They learn to be open-minded, initially disliking classmate Nicolas, but eventually welcoming him into their crew. Villains Griselle and her granddaughter Gwen commit all manner of crimes in their pursuit of the locket (impersonating, kidnapping, theft, etc.), and Griselle is shown to be selfish and greedy.
Some racial diversity. Out of the three central characters, Polly and Isla are White, and Shani is Black. Within supporting cast are White, Black, and East and South Asian characters. Both stereotypical and non-stereotypical representations of gender are shown. Lila is fashion-obsessed, and Polly's signature colors are pink and purple. But Lila also plays football and does martial arts, Polly is an inventor, and Shani is really into sci-fi. Some leaning into stereotypes: a martial arts retreat run by an East Asian woman and accompanied by flute music; a snake charmer who appears to be South Asian; and Polly's friend Bella having shorter hair, a deeper voice, and a love of sports.
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Violence & Scariness
Main characters are often in situations of peril: falling, getting hit by objects, becoming trapped. Scenes of pursuit and kidnapping by an always angry Griselle, who is arrested once but largely escapes consequences.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Parents sometimes cuddle and talk about date nights and being in love.
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Products & Purchases
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. But no overt advertising in the episodes themselves. Characters mention marketing, competition, etc., when they set up a hot chocolate business.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Polly Pocket is an animated series based on the dolls of the same name. Kid genius Polly (Emily Tennant) gets a locket from her grandmother that can magically shrink her and friends Lila and Shani to four inches tall. Villain Griselle (Patricia Drake) wants the locket so that she can control the entire town, and most episodes are about the locket being stolen back and forth. The girls use their power for fun as well as for making their town a better place, emphasizing values like doing the right thing even when it's hard and using your talents to benefit others. Polly and her friends are smart, capable kids who do a lot of problem-solving and saving the day. The show includes a mix of stereotypical gender representations -- Lila (Shannon Chan-Kent) is fashion-obsessed -- and non-stereotypical representations -- e.g., Shani (Kazumi Evans) is a sci-fi geek. There's racial diversity among the characters, but also some stereotypes to look out for. Scenes of peril, pursuit, kidnapping, etc., are mild but frequent.
Is It Any Good?
This product-based, moderately entertaining series has female characters who mostly avoid stereotypes, but the formulaic plot lines begin to feel repetitive rather quickly. Parents will likely appreciate the role models and some of the messages in Polly Pocket. Polly is a kid genius who's skilled at inventing high-tech gadgets, Shani is a super-smart sci-fi geek, and fashion-obsessed Lila uses her style knowledge to solve problems. The girls are supportive and kind toward one another, and they show growth and understanding to do the right thing.
The villains are so villainous that they come off as bumbling, so, despite various kidnappings and attempts at controlling the town, nothing is ever too scary. Kids always know that Polly and her friends 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. But for kids who like the toys or enjoy a comfortable formula, this is a safe bet without concerns about too much violence or language.
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.