A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
As the characters work on the ranch, viewers see some basic animal care procedures. Series also shows some characters overcoming challenges of their own, including physical disabilities, learning struggles, strife among friends that requires patience and compassion to overcome.
Emphasizes compassion, empathy as demonstrated by the Ponysitters' care for each other and the animals. Several characters manage personal challenges like physical or learning disabilities; their friends support, encourage their efforts. Work on the ranch promotes dedication to the animals, emotional flexibility to cope with unexpected, plus idea that any person or animal can overcome adversity with patience, kindness from others. Strong themes of friendship, self-expression, individuality.
Positive Role Models
Skye's devotion to animals inspires the club's efforts, and her friends eagerly take on responsibilities to help. They work well as a team -- connected by shared purpose of caring, kindness, a desire to help -- but each member has a different specialty that benefits the group and the ranch's mission. Billy is a single mom devoted to her daughter and advocates for her special needs. Shelby can be mean and judgmental at times.
Products & Purchases
The show is inspired by a book series by Victoria Carson.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Ponysitters Club follows a group of friends who volunteer at a rescue ranch. They help rehabilitate animals while simultaneously supporting each other as they overcome challenges in their own lives. What the show lacks in writing and acting expertise it makes up for in representations of loyalty, friendship, empathy, compassion, and kindness among the handful of main characters. There's a strong family bond among the three generations that operate the ranch and a sense of family that includes all of the tweens who help out. Ethnic diversity and diversity of ability also stand out, always with positive representations of respect and acceptance. One character does use her comparative privilege for social superiority among her peers, but there are times when she seems to genuinely care and want to help. This heartwarming series also includes many scenes of humans interacting with and enjoying the company of animals of all kinds.
Is It Any Good?
This feel-good series promotes the very ideals its characters advocate in their club creed: caring, kindness, empathy, and helping others. It's not gripping drama by any means, and it's clearly written for young viewers who will be more forgiving of the rudimentary stories and somewhat unpolished acting than adults might be.
Ultimately, though, Ponysitters Club is a harmless, heartwarming show about both people and animals overcoming adversity with help from friends who care. It also deserves credit for portraying a place where life isn't always perfect and for involving in its diverse cast some characters with physical and learning disabilities, including Skye's dyslexia. These small features give the series a validity that helps compensate for areas where it lacks and offers many teachable moments for families.
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.