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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Star Darlings is a Disney Web series that accompanies books of the same name and centers on 12 celestial girls learning to realize their individual potential while helping others achieve their own dreams. The characters' vibrant, distinctive personalities are designed to appeal to tween girls, who no doubt will find at least one to whom she can relate. All are viable role models, demonstrating friendship, empathy, and the value of never giving up on your dreams. This energetic series has humor, heart, and lots of happy messages that will appeal to tweens. It also features songs from a band comprising five core cast members, so fans might seek out the songs after tuning in.
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What's the story?
The brightest star in the night sky is a magical place called Starland, where Starlings nurture the wishes sent from Earth until they're ready to be granted. But the positive wish energy that powers Starland is under attack from an unknown source and negativity threatens its very survival. Desperate to save their home and preserve wish granting for Wish World (aka Earth), Lady Stella gathers 12 of the brightest students at Starland Academy to protect Starland's future. These star-charmed Star Darlings -- led by Sage, Libby, Leona, Vega, and Scarlet -- are Starland's best hope for survival and Wishlings' only hope for the wishes they've cast.
Is it any good?
This quality Disney production is a visual treat with characters whose individuality literally sparkles around them. They're colorful and full of exuberance, and their 12 distinctive personalities promise that viewers will find at least one favorite among them. As role models go, kids could do worse than any of the Star Darlings, who share admirable qualities such as kindness, selflessness, and the deep desire to help others achieve their dreams at the same time they work toward their own.
Geared toward tweens, STAR DARLINGS reminds viewers that appreciating your own uniqueness is preferable to following someone else's lead. It's fun to see the characters' reactions to humans' traditions involving wishes (blowing out birthday candles and dropping pennies in a fountain, for instance), and there is much humor that tweens will appreciate. Less appealing is the frequent word substitution using "star" in every part of speech ("Oh, my star!" and "That's starry," for example), which gets tiresome after a while.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why it's important to have dreams. Do you achieve more when you work toward a specific goal? Is it OK to adjust that goal as you get closer to it? What are some of your tweens' goals for the future?
Tweens: Which character is your favorite, and why? Does any Star Darling ever display negative qualities? Do those qualities do the story a disservice, or is it good to see this kind of reality in TV relationships?
Kids: Does what you see on TV or in movies ever influence your behavior? Are there any characters in particular you would consider role models? Are you ever surprised when an actor's real-life behavior contradicts his or her character's?
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