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 each character in this animated sketch comedy based on a popular series of kids books is named for the emotion or personality quirk he or she embodies. Some exhibit positive traits (Little Miss Sunshine or Mr. Happy, for example), but others have less-enviable attributes -- like rudeness, laziness, and messiness. The mix of personalities makes for silly, kid-friendly humor; the show also touches on the challenges of relating to people who are different and celebrates the art of self-expression. On the downside, characters are consistently one-dimensional and never adjust their behavior based on the situation or the others' reactions.
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What's the story?
In the quirky town of Dillydale, individuality is the name of the game, and residents actually embody the unique traits that make them who they are. From Mr. Happy's (voiced by Sam Gold) unfailing optimism to Little Miss Whoops' (Alicyn Packard) propensity for accidents, there's no shortage of interesting -- and often silly -- happenings when the characters interact. Based on Roger Hargreaves' popular Mr. Men and Little Miss books, this animated sketch comedy series gives young viewers a new perspective on human emotion and interpersonal relationships.
Is it any good?
On the surface, there's a lot to like about this lighthearted cartoon, and the good news is that it has the potential to appeal to kids from preschool through grade school. The bold, "retro" animation and simple storylines play to the attention span of very young viewers, who will easily grasp the basics of how the characters' actions match up with their personalities. (Parents may even find that the show helps them relate certain characters' negative traits -- like Mr. Messy and Mr. Rude -- to their young kids' behavior.) Meanwhile, older children can look deeper into the characters' relationships and figure out how personality differences impact their encounters.
But don't search too hard for meaningful content here: Since the characters never alter their behavior to better suit any situation, the show makes no real attempt to instill values or demonstrate lessons learned. Characters remain consistently one-dimensional, and even those with obvious negative behavior aren't encouraged to change their ways.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the characters' different personality traits. How do you know which ones are "good" and which are "bad"? Do you know which ones you should copy and which ones you shouldn't? Families can also discuss how well books translate into TV shows. Kids: Are you familiar with the Mr. Men and Little Miss books? If so, which do you like better -- the books or the show? Why? Can you think of other shows that are based on books? Which do you like best? Why?
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