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What 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.
What's the story?
TOP ELF is a reality series featuring a group of talented kid creators vying for the chance to donate to a charitable cause. Santa (Tommy Snider) transports seven kids with extraordinary creative talents to the North Pole, where they compete in a series of fun builder challenges. Helping them along are Santa’s elves, including Tinsel Turtledove (Ashley August), Merry Sparkleberry (Nataliz Jimenez), and Eggnog Shimmerhorn (David Magidoff). Santa’s right wing elf, Ms. Jingles (Samantha Turret), oversees the fray. At the end of each episode, the two contestants whose creations aren’t quite up to elf standards are put on the naughty list, and must face off in order to remain in the game. The kid creator who remains on the North Pole until the end wins the title of Top Elf, and $25K to donate to the charity on the top of her/his wish list.
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.
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