Timothy Goes to School



Needless addition to the animals-with-angst genre.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Endeavors to teach good lessons, but they're pretty simplistic. Gender stereotypes are reinforced and characters are one-dimensional.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Not applicable

There are commercials before, during and after the program, sometimes for movies targeted at older kids.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the characters in this lackluster cartoon are very gender-stereotypical. Every girl wears a dress, boys are more inventive and adventurous than girls, and adults are usually assigned typical roles -- the teacher is a woman, the police officer a man.

What's the story?

TIMOTHY GOES TO SCHOOL is a simpler, less-charming version of Arthur that in no way does justice to the book (Rosemary Wells' Timothy Tales from Hilltop School) on which it's supposedly based. Timothy himself is a raccoon whose cartoon form never achieves half the expression of the original book creation. His school friends are a largely indistinguishable band of rodents and house pets. The few who stand out do so because they've been given one strong trait (the mouse is shy, the twin dogs dumb) rather than an actual character. Each half-hour program contains two mini-episodes in which Timothy copes with some small social or ethical dilemma.

Is it any good?


Watching Timothy Goes to School won't hurt kids, but since it's neither educational nor particularly amusing, they -- and you -- are likely to choose one of the many other options out there. The stories are harmless and mildly entertaining. The problem is that the set up and situations are of a type usually more familiar to older children, while the problems and their resolutions are presented at the simplest and tamest level.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about why Timothy's mild difficulties and their solutions are simpler than those a child might actually experience at school. For example, when Timothy has to choose between two friends: Don't you think Timothy can be friends with both? Why can't they all play together? Questions about plot shortcomings might also start a good discussion about what makes a story work.

TV details

Cast:Austin Di Iulio, Fiona Reid, Laurie Elliott
Network:Discovery Kids
Genre:Kids' Animation
Topics:Book characters, Friendship, Wild animals
TV rating:TV-Y
Available on:DVD

This review of Timothy Goes to School was written by

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Kid, 12 years old June 14, 2014

timothy goes to school

they are all good role models and you can learn from their problems
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Educator and Parent Written byDr. Wordsmith December 20, 2012

Avoid this book, please.

This is a dismal little story with a very damaging message. It teaches children that the answer to feeling intimidated by people of higher ability is not to admire them and try to be better yourself, but to find someone else who's feeling inferior and join them in cutting the high-acheivers down. This book is damaging on so many levels that, for the first time in my life, I actually scratched out words and rewrote the book before giving it to my daughter. The pictures are very nice or it would have hit the trash bin.
Teen, 17 years old Written by012345678900000 December 20, 2012


this show is so entertaining.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much swearing


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