What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this cartoon deals primarily in broad slapstick humor and occasional sarcasm, with a tone similar to offbeat kids' fare like SpongeBob and The Fairly OddParents. Aside from characters' negative attitudes -- which are played for laughs and shown in opposition to the main character's relentlessly positive outlook -- there's nothing particularly iffy here. While the show doesn't try very hard to teach any valuable lessons or convey any educational content, it does provide an entertaining and humorous outlet for kids.
What's the story?
Loosely based on a popular children's book series by author Melanie Watt, SCAREDY SQUIRREL is about a squirrel who's just trying to overcome his fears and help make the world a better place. Along with his pal, Dave (voiced by Jonathan Gould), a blue skunk who isn't the cleanest animal you'll meet, Scaredy (Terry McGurrin) works at the Stash N' Hoard grocery store for Nestor (Patrick McKenna), a yellow bird who doesn't care for Scaredy very much and who's always trying to please his Momma (Jayne Eastwood), the owner of the store. The animals live together with other co-workers and friends, and Scaredy tries hard to keep himself clean and make life more pleasant for himself and his fellow Stash N' Hoard workers.
Is it any good?
There are shows that parents turn to in search of an entertaining, educational experience for kids. Those are the shows with lots of Ph.D.s in the credits, the ones in which lessons are clearly articulated for parents to feel good about.
And then there's Scaredy Squirrel, and that's just fine. It may seem faint praise, but Scaredy Squirrel is clearly a show designed to make kids laugh, and that's about it. There are perhaps decent lessons buried within the show's daffy plots, and there certainly aren't many negative messages, so it's not going to scar kids for life. But no one's going to learn the alphabet from Scaredy or how to solve problems with thoughtful respect. Instead, kids will probably find Scaredy and his friends pretty amusing. There's not much for older kids or the parental units, but the mix of wacky voices, one-liners, and pratfalls should provide a fun outlet for younger kids who've had enough of the Children's Television Workshop and just want to laugh.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about what aspects of Scaredy Squirrel make it so funny. Does the show take anything seriously? Do kids' shows have an obligation to be educational?
Are you afraid of anything that Scaredy Squirrel is afraid of? How does he overcome his fears? How do you deal with your own fears?