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 Teletubbies reintroduces Tinky Winky, Po, Laa-Laa, and Dipsy to young viewers with improved animation and new adventures. The magical creatures (no one really knows what they are, even this time around) live in a curious land where objects rise up out of the ground to help guide their play, and they can watch videos of human kids on their belly screens. The stories have very simple and broad themes (using a watering can, for instance), which plays out in a point-of-view video of a child or children and then is explored by the Teletubbies in their magical world. While the show's examples of cooperative play, wonder, and simple joys are gentle and pleasing, the creatures can still be a little grating to parents watching along.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
The colorful British characters who first made their mark on tots in the late '90s return to TV in an updated version of TELETUBBIES. Tinky Winky (Jeremiah Krage), Laa-Laa (Rebecca Hyland), Dipsy (Nick Chee Ping Kellington), and Po (Rachelle Beinart) pick up right where they left off, playing, exploring, and being generally silly in the magical Teletubbyland. With touchscreen bellies that play videos of real children engaged in everyday activities, the Teletubbies learn by performing similar tasks with magical results in their own world. A narrator (Daniel Rigby) puts words to their actions, and the sun (with a baby's face in the center) rises and sets on their days.
Is it any good?
Subtlety rules the day in the changes to this series, but the show's focus on play and adventure, and the general sense of childish delight that marked the original, still stand out. The Teletubbies remain somewhat polarizing characters who are magnetic to very young kids but often unpalatable to their parents, and therein lies the rub. Because the show is geared toward babies and toddlers, and it's often off-putting to parents, it's not prime watch-together fare.
That said, the Teletubbies are the colorful, plush embodiment of childhood joy, finding happiness in simple experiences such as splashing in puddles, running in the grass, and laughing together. Their curiosity about the world helps them learn new things, and they're gentle and kind with one another. Kids certainly could do worse as far as role models are concerned.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what makes the Teletubbies the same and what makes them different. What do they also have in common with the children in their videos? With you?
The Teletubbies are an active bunch, forever hopping, rolling, running, and jumping around. Encourage your kids to mimic what they see the characters do on the screen. Why is it important to stay active? How does exercising make you feel?
How do the characters show that they're friends? What small expressions of kindness can you share with your family and friends?
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