Stanley

 
Stanley is a pint-sized Dr. Doolittle.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Stanley works with his friends, family, and pets to brainstorm, problem-solve, and all the while, learn interesting facts about animals.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that it won't take long for this show to win the hearts of kids and parents alike. Stanley is an inquisitive, friendly kid with an insatiable appetite for asking questions about animals. Based on the book series by Andrew Griff, this cartoon is about a kid who sometimes makes mistakes, has challenges with his older brother, and always finds comfort in his pet dog, cat, and fish. In fact, Stanley has conversations with these animals, especially his best friend and confidant, Dennis the goldfish. Each episode involves a "jump" into the Great Big Book of Everything, where Stanley learns firsthand about the animal in question. A sure-bet hit with preschoolers and kindergarten-aged kids, it's about kids, friends, family, and the wonders of the animal kingdom.

What's the story?

Stanley is a kindergartener with an oversized head and six hairs that stick straight up. Each episode begins with him pondering a real-life situation -- he wants to go across the monkey bars or be a part of his brother's band, etc. These problems are brainstormed with the help of his friends -- Lester and twins Mimi and Marci -- and a set of lovable pets that includes Harry the goofy dog, Elsie the slinky tabby, and Dennis the brainy goldfish. After Harry and Elsie sing a song about a beloved book of facts, Stanley and his friends and pets literally jump into the book and become dolphins, T. rexes, kookaburras, or whatever they're studying. They discuss and compare Stanley's problems to facts about animals, and sometimes another song ensues. Often there's an on-the-edge-of-your-seat climax to get Stanley and his friends back to safety, but nothing that's genuinely frightening.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Stanley may wear tiger-striped pajamas and talk to his pets, but he still manages to be one of the most relatable characters for kids on TV. He has trouble moving to a larger bed, gets frustrated with friends, and sometimes fights with his brother. He's also adorable, loves his family, and has a diverse set of friends.

Both the animal and human characters in Stanley's life are likable and interesting. Stanley's mother, a dentist, sometimes helps Stanley find the answers to his questions on the Internet and, though clearly a busy mom, she's very playful with her youngest son. Stanley's friends are African-American and Jewish, and his teacher is Latina. At the end of each episode, Stanley and Dennis tuck into their respective beds, talk about the day's adventure, and voice their appreciations for the marvelous creatures around them.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about kids' relationships with the animals in their lives. Do you ever confide in your pets? Do you feel you have a special bond with them that no one else does? What is it about pets that make them good friends and companions?

TV details

This review of Stanley was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Adult Written bydawn31400 April 9, 2008
age 0+
 

Fun and even educational

I love Stanley !! I think it is a fun show and educational for young children. Kids love animals and this is a great way for them to learn about some animals that they wouldn't ordinarily know about.
Adult Written bysmcqueen April 9, 2008
age 0+
 

My Daughter Loves This

I think Stanley is a very good show for children to learn about animals. It is a little unrealistic though, because the animals talk and Stanley jumps into the Great Big Book of Everything. But I still love it.
Kid, 10 years old April 9, 2008

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