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 The ZhuZhus (also known as Frankie and the ZhuZhu Pets or Polly and the ZhuZhu Pets) is a cartoon series inspired by the popular line of ZhuZhu Pets toys, four of whom star alongside their young human. They have vibrant personalities and human tendencies such as walking, talking, and having the run of their owners' house and its surroundings. Every episode shows them and Frankie embroiled in some kind of unpredictable adventure of their own making and an unlikely solution with impossibly little fallout. In other words, it's a typical cartoon that's more an escape from reality than it is anything of real value to viewers. Expect some occasional potty humor (Chunk is chronically gassy, it would seem) but little else of concern. On the upside, Frankie and her parents enjoy a very close relationship and often work together to set right the day's mishaps.
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What's the story?
THE ZHUZHUS follows the wacky adventures of a gregarious girl named Frankie (voiced by Jenna Warren) and her walking, talking hamster friends, Mr. Squiggles (Richard Binsley), Num Nums (Stephany Seki), Pipsqueak (Tajja Isen), and Chunk (Robert Tinkler). There's no happenstance too small for this group of pals to turn into an unforgettable experience, usually with hilarious results and the need for some help from her mom (Stacey DePass) and dad (Zachary Bennett) to set things back in order again.
Is it any good?
This fast-paced cartoon's comical characters and frivolous scenarios lack substance, but they're entertaining enough to make you overlook the show's significant commercial ties. Exuberant Frankie's big ideas always get her into some kind of hot water that kids will find hilarious, like accidentally setting her parents aloft in an inflatable castle on their anniversary. Safe in the cartoon dimension's reality of minimal consequence, though, these kinds of predicaments play out in hilarious ways for her and her furry friends.
And speaking of those furry friends, they're more human than they are animal, letting the show have fun with the contrast between their domesticated lifestyles and their wild roots. They also have distinct personalities that will draw viewers to a favorite or two, increasing the likelihood that they'll notice related merchandise on the next trip to the store. The ZhuZhus does well to stand on its own entertainment merit, but it can't avoid commercial tie-ins altogether.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about pets and pet care. What animals do you have in your home? Who is responsible for their needs? What are the benefits of having pets?
Frankie and the ZhuZhus seem to find trouble wherever they go. When you're faced with a quandary or make a mistake, do you turn to others for help or try to solve it on your own? How does having mentors help you learn from your experiences?
Kids: Were you drawn to this show because of the ZhuZhu Pets toys? If not, are you more interested in them now that you've watched this series? How are we influenced by the toys, foods, and games we see on TV and in movies?
Themes & Topics
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For kids who love cute animals
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