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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Casagrandes is a spin-off of animated show The Loud House that revolves around an 11-year-old girl, Ronnie Anne, who moves to a big city to live with her Mexican American family over the market they own and operate. Characters are multicultural in terms of ethnicity, socioeconomic status, age, gender, and country of origin, but this doesn't often directly come up. More often, characters exist in a peaceful melting pot and their differences aren't mentioned (although the Casagrandes' Spanglish and many touches of Latin culture make the family's ethnicity clear). Themes of communication and empathy are clearly illustrated by this "live and let live" approach. Humor can be slightly vulgar, like when a dog farts in a man's face, but language is mild: A gentle "Dang it!" is as rough as it gets. Violence is infrequent and cartoonish, like when men hurt their legs skateboarding and they hang in a rubbery boneless fashion. Characters pine for material goods, but money is hard-earned, and characters often have to adjust their dreams to match reality. Ronnie Anne is a vibrant and kind-hearted character who frequently squabbles with her cousins or sibling, but also tries to help those in her life any way she can. Adults are present, lovingly involved with children's lives, and colorfully characterized, and they have their own hobbies and interests. Parents may want to point out gender stereotypes, like the abeula who cleans while the men in the family relax.
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What's the story?
When former Loud House-er Ronnie Anne Santiago (Izabella Alvarez) moves to the big city with her mom, Maria (Sumalee Montano), and older brother, Bobby (Carlos PenaVega), to live with her Mexican American family THE CASAGRANDES over their family-owned mercado, things don't exactly get much quieter. But living in the same house with her loving Tia Frida (Roxana Ortega) and Tio Carlos (Carlos Alazraqui), her cousins Carlota (Alexa PenaVega), CJ (Jared Kozak), and Carl (Alex Cazares), and her abuelo (Ruben Garfias) and abuela (Sonia Manzano) isn't exactly easy. But it sure is a lot of fun.
Is it any good?
This cheerful Loud House spin-off retains the original's sweet tone and focus on a big, raucous family, but gender-flips the main character and makes that family a vibrant Mexican American clan. Score! Though the family's Mexican origins are clearly telegraphed by the family's Spanglish lines, the brilliant color palette, and the stylistic flourishes like title cards strewn with Mexican embroidery patterns and papel picado, the Casagrandes rarely refer to their ethnicity and coexist happily among a diverse set of neighbors and friends, like next-door neighbors the Changs. Pretty much everybody in the Casagrandes' big (unnamed) city ends up in the family's store anyway, so why draw borders?
With her skateboard always at the ready, and a head full of schemes intended to right wrongs and show up her annoying brothers, Ronnie Anne is a high-spirited hero kids will relate to (even while they may wonder how she gets the freedom to knock around her neighborhood parent-free, day and night). Meanwhile, parents will appreciate how lovingly her aunts, uncles, grandparents, and cousins rescue her from minor scrapes and gently nudge her toward better behavior. The appeal of this show is obvious, and the representation simply delightful. Don't miss a chance to visit with this big-hearted family -- it's worth your while.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about family dynamics. Kids: Can you relate to how Ronnie Anne and her family members get along in The Casagrandes? What are the benefits to having a large, close family? The challenges? If you have siblings, in what ways are you alike, and how are you different?
Families can also talk about why the setting for The Casagrandes is a large city. What types of people live in big cities as opposed to rural areas or suburbs? With more people packed together, how likely is it that people in large cities have a larger circle of friends and neighbors? Do you think this influenced the choice of setting?
- Premiere date: October 14, 2019
- Cast: Izabella Alvarez, Eugenio Derbez, Melissa Joan Hart
- Network: Nickelodeon
- Genre: Kids' Animation
- Topics: Brothers and Sisters, Great Girl Role Models
- Character strengths: Communication, Empathy
- TV rating: TV-Y
- Available on: Streaming
- Award: Common Sense Selection
- Last updated: December 1, 2020
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