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 this animated series makes a real attempt to illustrate positive themes like taking responsibility for your actions, fulfilling promises, and being a good friend. Despite the magical spin, the stories touch on issues kids can relate to, so there’s plenty to talk about after the show’s end. Sabrina and Cassandra’s tug-of-war for Harvey’s affections plays a role in many of the episodes, and in some cases Cassandra manipulates or lies to get his attention. Sabrina’s plans often go awry and land her in hot water, but she’s smart enough to know when she needs help from her aunts, teachers, or feline mentor, and she always learns a lesson from the mishap.
What's the story?
SABRINA’S SECRET LIFE picks up one year after Sabrina: The Animated Series ends, with now-14-year-old Sabrina (voiced by Britt McKillip) as a student at Greendale High and secretly attending witchcraft lessons beneath the school. Much remains the same -- Sabrina’s still head over heels for class cutie Harvey (Bill Switzer); she hits plenty of pitfalls in navigating teen life while keeping her powers under wraps; and her faithful feline adviser, Salem (Maurice LaMarche), is still around to help her out of scrapes. Add to that her new best friend named Maritza (Vanesa Tomasino) and a social nemesis (and fellow clandestine witch) Cassandra (Tifanie Christun), and the magical mayhem is sure to heat up.
Is it any good?
This cartoon, which originally aired from 2003-2004, follows both its animated predecessor and the popular original series, Sabrina, The Teenage Witch, and it blends returning and new characters with ease. It’s hardly a commentary on real teen life, but for its intended audience of kids, it touches on real issues like jealousy, social uncertainty, and shirking responsibility in a respectable way and offers some feel-good lessons about each episode’s theme.
Sabrina and Cassandra’s contentious relationship leads to some malicious behavior (at times both girls lie and cheat to upstage the other, especially when Harvey’s around), but Sabrina usually learns from her mistakes and eventually takes the high moral ground, making her a viable role model. She’s also good at knowing when her magical mishaps require professional help and turns to the authority figures in her life when she’s in trouble, even though she usually faces a consequence of some kind.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the show’s theme. What lesson(s) did Sabrina learn through her actions? How did her experiences relate to some you’ve had? Do you think her predicament and resolution were oversimplified for the show? What other factors might affect you in a similar scenario?
Kids: Why is it important to respect people’s differences? In what ways do our individual talents and traits set us apart from others? How are some people’s talents more obvious than others’? Are there any traits that society is generally intolerant of? What special qualities do you have?
Does watching this series make you want to see the two shows that preceded it? Why or why not? If you have seen one or both of them, how does this one compare?
Themes & Topics
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