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 there is no objectionable material in these shows per se but that they are being surrounded by commercial tie-ins for Cartoon Network, the bi-product of which is that the show encourages TV watching in our youngest children. These tie-ins argue that the show "develops humor" but really, it's sophisticated brand extension. While some of the cartoons are fun, some are dull, and some are weird, but there's nothing scary or violent.
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What's the story?
TICKLE U is a block of programming for pre-K kids and their parents. There are seven shows, each about 10 to 15 minutes long, that rotate through the two-hour time slot. The overarching theme of the programs is to encourage a sense of humor and optimism, two qualities which most preschoolers already have in abundance, but a little more never hurt. The programs vary widely: There's Yoko Jakamoko Toko, about African animals; Harry and His Bucket Full of Dinosaurs, about a little boy with a big imagination; Gerald McBoing Boing, about a boy who doesn't talk; and others.
Is it any good?
Tickle U is extremely silly, but the animation is lovely, and little kids will crack up at the animal antics. In addition to the shows, Tickle U has messages that appear at the bottom of the screen throughout, conveying useful information such as "Your child loves to tell a joke and hear you laugh" and "Optimistic people relate better to other people," along with helpful statements such as "You're a pre-K parent if you wish you had stock in pudding" and "You're a pre-K parent if you see the diaper as half empty." These messages can quickly become annoying, even more so if you child asks you to read each one as it appears on the screen.
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