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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that True and the Rainbow Kingdom is an animated series whose main character helps her friends solve their problems with a combination of magic and old-fashioned determination. The show is rich in positive examples of compassion, empathy, and kindness, made even more obvious in contrast to the actions of True's self-absorbed friend, Grizelda. The stories are less simplistic than many others geared toward the preschool set, and viewers will notice that the characters' efforts often don't achieve the desired result on the first (or even second) try, requiring patience and perseverance to prevail. Vibrant animation, whimsical characters, and wonderful music round out this endearing series.
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What's the story?
In TRUE AND THE RAINBOW KINGDOM, a kindhearted 8-year-old named True (voiced by Michela Luci) lives in a whimsical land and possesses a very special magical gift: the power to activate the Wishing Tree and use its wishes to help people solve problems. Whether it's a friend who's feeling overlooked or an entertainment star with a severe attack of self-doubt, True never fails to find the perfect way to set things right again, thanks to three unique wishes shared by the tree. Once happiness is restored in the kingdom, True and her best friend, Bartleby (Jamie Watson), can get back to enjoying the delights of their colorful home.
Is it any good?
True's magical power has less to do with the Wishing Tree and more to do with her knack for illustrating the value of effective problem solving. She takes great care in naming the problem and contemplating a possible solution before visiting the Wishing Tree and asking for additional help. What's more, even as the anthropomorphic wishes hop into action at critical times in the process, none can do the job alone; it requires a combination of them plus True's patient guidance to achieve the required effect. The resulting theme? Solutions aren't always simple to predict, but a little perseverance goes a long way.
But as kids aren't likely to seek out a show for this kind of quality content, True and the Rainbow Kingdom wins them over with its visual appeal, humor, and thoughtful characters. Everything in Rainbow Kingdom lives up to its name with vibrant colors, and there's much creativity in the inhabitants' unorthodox shapes and sizes. Even True's antithetical peer, Grizelda (Anna Bartlam), serves a vital purpose in this colorful world, reminding kids of the results of negative traits like selfishness.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why character strengths like perseverance and empathy are important. Where do you see these character strengths in True and the Rainbow Kingdom? Is it frustrating when solutions don't work the first time? How does it feel to help someone else solve a problem?
What aspects of Rainbow Kingdom resemble the real world and which are imaginative? Is it an appealing place? Why is it fun to imagine different places and creatures? What are your favorite topics and characters for make-believe play?
Who are some of your favorite TV characters? What positive behavior do they model? Do you ever question the things they do, or imagine you would do them differently?
- Premiere date: August 4, 2017
- Cast: Jamie Watson, Michela Luci, Anna Bartlam
- Network: Netflix
- Genre: Kids' Animation
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Friendship, Great Girl Role Models
- Character Strengths: Empathy, Perseverance
- TV rating: TV-Y
- Available on: Streaming
- Award: Common Sense Seal
- Last updated: March 13, 2020
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