The Berenstain Bears
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that while Brother and Sister Bear are 10 and 8, respectively, and the show revolves around their school-age experiences, the series' tone and pace may only appeal to much younger kids. Whatever their ages, if your kids enjoy the show, by all means introduce them to the books, which are easy to find at libraries and bookstores.
What's the story?
THE BERENSTAIN BEARS, based on the best-selling children's book series by Jan and Stan Berenstain, is geared around learning experiences and straightforward, literal lessons. Mama, Papa, Sister, and Brother live in a tree house, but otherwise live and act like humans.
Is it any good?
The TV show succeeds in capturing the books' fun-loving spirit. Delightful character and scene animation makes bear country a charming place to hang out, even if the books' subtle wit doesn't quite come through on the screen. At first glance, the show seems to take "traditional family values" to the extreme. Mama wears a housecoat, gardens, and quilts, while Papa wears overalls, fishes, and eats too much of Ma's great country cooking.
Some viewers, even kids, might get annoyed at these unimaginative portrayals, but now and again the show branches out. Ma turned her quilting skills into a business, and one episode featured Sister going out for baseball and doing better than her big brother. Brother had to learn to accept the fact that Sister was just as talented as he was. The series doesn't ignore sibling rivalry, but for the most part paints the siblings as loving and supportive of one another.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the lessons learned in each episode. How do Brother and Sister Bear learn from their mistakes? How is your family like the Bear family? How is it different?