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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Popples is a reboot of a popular '80s cartoon and line of plush toys. However, besides the show's name and the Popples' general appearances, little similarity bridges the two productions. The new stories promote the value of friendship through enthusiastic characters who always want to help their neighbors, even when doing so backfires in comical ways. Expect a fair amount of physical humor (bumps to the head, falls, and crashes that make the victim see stars) but no ill effects.
Uses curse words and name calls
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Cute, but No.
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What's the Story?
POPPLES is set in the vibrant land of Popplopolis, home to unique creatures called Popples, who are fuzzy and rotund and who get around by curling into balls and rolling away. The story follows five Popple pals -- Lulu, Sunny (Wendee Lee), Bubbles (Cassandra Morris), Izzy (Cindy Robinson), and Yikes (Grant George) -- as they team up for fun and adventure in and around their tree house hangout. But these friends find that with adventure often come sticky predicaments and a lot of hilarity, and when they compile their big ideas, the laughs just keep on coming. Luckily these friends always manage to work out the kinks just in the nick of time, returning things to normal in time for some other form of mayhem to erupt.
Is It Any Good?
Modern animation techniques give new visual pop to these iconic '80s characters, endearing them to a whole new generation of kids who will love their energy and unique personalities. The Popples are unusual creatures, sort of bear-cat-marsupial hybrids with unnatural coloring and long tails that end in pompons. In other words, they're the stuff of little kids' imaginations, as is their inviting world where just about anything is possible.
Popples doesn't set out to teach kids anything beyond the virtues of friendship and the value of appreciating others' special qualities, but sometimes pleasant stories with solid social messages are enough for an animated series. Because this one is pretty hastily paced, kids will have an easier time following the stories than preschoolers will, but the show is fun to watch nonetheless.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the appeal of imaginary creatures such as the Popples. Why is it fun to think about realities different from our own? Does doing so change your impression of the real world?
Are the Popples good role models? Are there any characters on the show whose behavior isn't positive? Can seeing bad behavior on TV serve a good purpose for viewers? If so, how?
Kids: If you invented a character or group of characters for a TV show, how would they look? What qualities would they have? How would their world be different from ours?
- Premiere date: September 13, 1986
- Cast: Erin Fitzgerald, Wendee Lee, Cassandra Morris
- Network: Netflix
- Genre: Kids' Animation
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Friendship
- TV rating: TV-Y
- Last updated: February 18, 2023
Our Editors Recommend
'80s cartoon revival has excellent messages and role model.
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CGI enhances the magic of classic friendly characters.
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Sweet stories of friendship populate this refreshed classic.
For kids who love retro characters
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