TV Review: 'Jake and the Never Land Pirates'
Filed under: TV
Rated ON for Ages 3 and Up
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that preschoolers will love this colorful, fun, adventurous cartoon, and the fact that it's packed with positive social messages about solving problems, being a good friend, and appreciating individuality makes it a great choice for this age group. Basic academic skills like counting and sorting are included in the content, and the show's style encourages kids' involvement throughout, and its use of music and humor will keep kids entertained.
The good stuff
- Educational value: The show incorporates basic preschool skills like counting and sorting.
- Messages: Social themes like friendship, teamwork, and respect for others all have a place in the show's content. Each story centers on a pint-sized problem of some kind (a favorite object is taken, for instance), and the kids use their own creative thinking to solve the problems as a team, earning rewards for the whole group as they go. Despite being the show's "villain," Captain Hook enjoys a mischievous and playful relationship with Jake, Izzy, and Cubby.
- Role models: The kids have individual skills that allow them to work better as a team, and they appreciate each other's contributions. Captain Hook is always gracious in defeat and more playful with the kids than he is frightening.
- Violence & scariness: Cartoon falls and minor accidents don't result in injury and are played for humor.
- Sexy stuff: Not an issue.
- Language: Not an issue.
- Consumerism: Not an issue.
- Drinking, drugs, & smoking: Not an issue.
The tropical paradise of Pirate Island is the perfect place for the adventures of young scallywags like Jake (voiced by Colin Ford), Izzy (Madison Pettis), and Cubby (Jonathan Morgan Heit), who embark on fun-filled escapades on their trusty ship, Bucky. Unfortunately, their travels bring them into the path of Captain Hook (Corey Burton) and his sidekick, Mr. Smee (Jeff Bennett), and the troublesome pair never lacks ideas for disrupting the kids' plans and capturing their treasures. It takes ingenuity and teamwork to outwit their rivals and return safely to their secret hideout on the island, but this quick-thinking trio -- along with their parrot friend, Skully (David Arquette) -- is up to the challenge.
Is It Any Good?
Preschoolers will be drawn to "Jake and the Never Land Pirates" because of its colorful characters and sense of adventure, and the show's humor and interactive style will sweep them away on imaginative journeys along with Jake and his gang. For parents, the real treasure can be found in how the show blends positive social messages about getting along with others and solving problems into the stories. No interaction -- not even those between the kids and the meddlesome Captain Hook -- is wasted, as each one exemplifies respect and kindness, and the importance of teamwork to achieve a goal is the dominant theme.
What's more, kids are encouraged to take an active role in each story, from singing along with the pirate band to tallying the doubloons the characters earn with each problem solved. They're made to feel one of the team, complete with a sense of accomplishment about a job well done at the end, and you'll feel good knowing that the messages they're getting from this show are happy ones.
This review was written by Emily Ashby
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