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True: Happy Hearts Day

TV review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
True: Happy Hearts Day TV Poster Image
Sweet holiday story promotes empathy, compassion.

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The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Educational Value

The show intends to entertain rather than to educate, but the story is rich in examples of positive social behavior, empathy, and respect among the characters.

 

Positive Messages

True is determined to help everyone feel happy like she is on Happy Hearts Day, but Gloomy helps her understand that people's definitions of happy can be quite varied. The characters come to appreciate and respect each other's uniqueness as a result. True and Bartleby approach problem solving with clarity and patience after they take time to breathe and focus on the specific trouble and ask for guidance when they need it. 

 

Positive Role Models & Representations

True is kindhearted and generous and always goes out of her way to make others happy. While Gloomy seems to counter her efforts, in reality he is just being true to his nature and honest about his feelings. Together the two come to understand each other better by communicating openly and respectfully.

 

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language

In one scene, a character lets out a long belch.

Consumerism

This holiday special is part of the series True and the Rainbow Kingdom.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that True: Happy Hearts Day is a continuation of True and the Rainbow Kingdom and sees a young girl named True learning a valuable lesson about empathy and respecting differences as she spreads holiday joy among her friends. She encounters a neighbor who is defined by his glumness and revels in solitude, which she first attempts to change before coming to understand as his nature. In so doing, she demonstrates for kids the importance of seeing things from another person's point of view instead of judging him based on your own. This sweet story involves strong themes of friendship, kindness, and compassion, as well as True's mindful approach to solving problems.

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What's the story?

There's nothing True (voiced by Michela Luci) loves more than bringing smiles to her friends' faces by sharing happy hearts on this special day. With her deliveries done around Rainbow Kingdom, she and Bartleby (Jamie Watson) head for the Soggy Swamp to deliver one last heart to Glummy Glooma (Cory Doran), but he accidentally turns the pink heart blue with his gloomy mood. When all of the happy hearts and the Wish Tree follow suit, True fears everyone in Rainbow Kingdom will be overcome with gloom, so she visits Zee (Nicolas Acqui) for guidance and, joined by three wishes, sets out to restore joy to her home.

Is it any good?

This sweet holiday story has all the warm-fuzzy feels you'd expect, but its most heartfelt message about respect and learning empathy comes as a welcome surprise. At first glance, Glummy's gloom seems destined to counter True's effort to spread joy, and as all the hearts and the Wish Tree turn blue themselves, the special holiday feels doomed. It's only by setting aside her preconceptions and acknowledging Glummy's perspective that she comes to make the holiday special for everyone.

True continues to be a model of thoughtful problem-solving and kindness in her interactions with those around her. Happy Hearts Day challenges her in a new way, forcing her to step outside of her own experiences and see the world through someone else's eyes. For kids who watch, this is an excellent reminder of the value and rewards of doing the same in their interactions with peers.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Glummy's personality as it compares to True's. What differences exist in how the two characters show kindness and friendship? Can a person be a good friend and still enjoy solitude, like Glummy does? How does each of them contribute something different to their community?

  • How does True demonstrate compassion and empathy toward Glummy? How does that change over the course of the story? What does she learn by seeing things from his point of view?

  • How might you solve a similar problem to True's without the help of magic? When a friend is feeling sad, what can you do to help? Does helping always mean making someone feel better?

TV details

Character Strengths

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Themes & Topics

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For kids who love holiday celebrations

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