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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Top Wing is a preschool series about four young birds training to be community rescuers in their island home. The cadets are good role models for young kids, as they're prone to mistakes but open to learning from them and using the lessons to improve their relationships and the service they provide. Viewers get to see basic representations of rescue operations and understand how team members work together to accomplish a goal. Negative actions always have consequences, but the characters learn from them and improve as a result.
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What's the story?
TOP WING is set in Big Swirl Island's prestigious Top Wing Academy and follows its four new recruits -- Swift (voiced by Jonah Wineberg), Brody (Lucas Kalechstein), Rod (Ethan Pugiotto), and Penny (Abigail Oliver) -- in their training to become rescuers. Under the instruction of Speedy (Colin Doyle) and Bea (Bryn McAuley), these four eager students learn the ins and outs of rescue operations on land, underwater, and in the air. Their missions teach them the skills they need to help their community, remind them of the importance of teamwork, and earn them their wings.
Is it any good?
These four young whippersnappers will win over preschoolers in record time, and their experiences promote social skills like communication and working together. Their exuberant but unique personalities remind kids that differences don't have to divide; they can expose us to other points of view and challenge us to see things through another person's eyes. In the case of Swift and his new friends, this translates to a better team of rescuers for their surrounding community.
While Top Wing doesn't overwhelm with its creativity (Paw Patrol fans especially will notice similarities), it caters to preschoolers' emotional awareness by portraying young characters who experience impulsiveness, impatience, and selfishness at times. Happily, the stories spend ample time showing the consequences of these negative traits and what the cadets learn from them, plus how they turn those lessons into better teamwork and service to others.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how the Top Wing cadets demonstrate teamwork. Is there a leader in the group? How do they assign responsibilities? How can you tell that each team member is equally important?
What are the challenges in learning new skills? Is it reasonable to expect you'll do well from the start? What value is there in making mistakes and learning from them?
The characters have different strengths and weaknesses. How do they use them for the greatest benefit of the entire team and community? Where do you see examples of particularly positive traits like teamwork and courage? Why are these important character strengths?
- Premiere date: November 6, 2017
- Cast: Colin Doyle, Jonah Wineberg, Bryn McAuley
- Network: Nick Jr.
- Genre: Kids' Animation
- Topics: Adventures, Friendship, Great Boy Role Models, Great Girl Role Models
- Character Strengths: Communication, Courage, Teamwork
- TV rating: TV-Y
- Available on: Streaming
- Award: Common Sense Seal
- Last updated: March 13, 2020
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