A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
It celebrates creativity, giving, hard work, and team work. Problem solving, learning how to stay focused, and good sportsmanship are also themes. Hanukkah and non-secular holiday practices are also discussed.
Positive Role Models
Santa, Ms. Jingles, and the judges are all positive and encouraging, but gently offer constructive criticism when necessary. The elves assist and encourage, but allow the kids to do their own thing. The children are polite, respectful, and good sports.
Violence & Scariness
Occasional builds (and people) fall down, but no one gets hurt. Illnesses like cancer are referenced but not discussed.
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Products & Purchases
Charities ranging from March of Dimes to The Ocean Conservancy are referenced.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Top Elf is a fun, Christmas holiday-themed competition that encourages its kid contenstants to be creative. The top prize includes $25K to be given to the winner's charity of choice. It's energetic and family-friendly, and very young children will be drawn to the fact that Santa is in charge of the show.
Is It Any Good?
This energetic series gets into the holiday spirit by encouraging kids to flex their creative muscles while also teaching them to stay focused on task requirements, problem solve, and have fun while doing it. While they are assisted by the adult elves (especially with power tools), it is the tween contestants who are responsible for coming up with the concepts, designing the builds, and making sure the work is completed. Throughout it all, Santa, Ms. Jingles, and guest judges like actress Peyton List, custom cake baker Amirah Kassem, rock singer Pete Wentz, and YouTube celebs Frankie Grande and Alex Wassabi, offer their assessments, which are both complementary and constructive. It's hard not to get caught up in everyone's enthusiasm, and even harder to watch the disappointment in a young contestant's face when they're eliminated. Nonetheless,Top Elf is a festive, family-friendly series that delivers on lots of seasonal cheer.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.