Razzberry Jazzberry Jam
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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 Razzberry Jazzberry Jam is an animated show for preschoolers and grade schoolers about a group of talking instruments who play in a band and face problems together. Several of the characters are voiced by African-American actors. Each show explicitly champions values such as friendship and cooperation, often using musical analogies. Young viewers will learn about music and how different instruments sound. The show, though pretty slow-paced, should definitely appeal to kids interested in music.
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What's the Story?
In kids' animated show RAZZBERRY JAZZBERRY JAM, a band called the Jazzberries performs every day at the most rockin' venue in town, the House of Jam. There's Louis the Trumpet (Clé Bennett), Ella the kindhearted piano (Christine Hamilton), diva-esque Billie the guitar (Nicole Stamp), wise bass R.C. (Maurice Dean Wint), and happy/grumpy drum twins Buddy (Steve Markle) and Krupa (Jeff Kassel). Things are crazy enough in the House of Jam as it is. But they really get shaken up when guest musicians drop by. Even though an instrument occasionally sounds a sour note, it takes every instrument to come together and make a band, so there's always room for more beautiful music.
Is It Any Good?
Gentle, inclusive, and filled with both musical references and actual songs in a variety of genres, this animated show is best for preschoolers, particularly those with an interest in music. Toddlers in particular will enjoy the songs that close out each episode and the live-action segments in which concepts such as improvisation or instrumentation are tackled. Preschoolers and up will grasp lessons on friendship, kindness, and tolerance. For instance, in one episode, a flashy new synthesizer makes Ella the piano feel old-fashioned. By the end of the show, the synth and Ella have realized they can make a great song together -- there's a place for everyone in the band! Grade schoolers will probably find the goings-on corny, but young viewers can safely watch and will enjoy the colorful animation and songs.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about how a band is like a group of people. How is a band similar to a family? A class? A group of friends?
Animated shows often star non-human characters such as animals or talking objects. Why?
Why does Razzberry Jazzberry Jam focus on a band that plays at the same venue each day, rather than a traveling band? What types of stories are easier to tell when all your characters spend a lot of time in the same place?
- Premiere date: December 23, 2008
- Cast: Christine Hamilton, Steve Markle, Jeff Kassel
- Network: Online
- Genre: Kids' Animation
- TV rating: NR
- Last updated: September 20, 2019
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