Home Entertainment What to watch with your kids: ‘Pinocchio’ and more

What to watch with your kids: ‘Pinocchio’ and more


Zippy series has a few fears, but mostly fun for the whole family.

Cars on the roadCars follows franchise-favorite characters Lightning McQueen (voiced by Owen Wilson) and Mater the Tow Truck (Larry the Cable Guy) as they take an epic cross-country road trip to Mater’s sister’s wedding. They have many adventures and accidents along the way – crashes, collisions with dinosaur-like monster trucks with big teeth, etc. – but they always come out well. An episode set in a haunted house has some creepy stuff, including scares, ghosts, and references to real-life horror movies like “The Shining” (kids might not get those references, but they’re still creepy). Furthermore, these short episodes are a fun choice for the whole family. (Nine 22 minute episodes)

Available on Disney Plus.

Barbie: Mermaid Power (TV-Y)

Sweet animated musical promotes friendship, acceptance.

Barbie: Mermaid Power” is an animated musical in the Barbie movie franchise. It follows Malibu Barbie (voiced by America Young), her sisters and Brooklyn Barbie (Tatiana Varria) as they transform into mermaids and learn how to use their mermaid powers and prepare for the once every 100 years Mermaid Moon. Animated violence includes characters who bully and talk unkindly to each other. Two mermaid characters are sometimes boastful and rude to younger mermaids, as well as to the visiting “land dwellers” who are different from them. There is momentary danger when a submersible vehicle begins to break down and flood. Expect clear, powerful messages about acceptance and finding your talents. One character was born without a tail fin and has a “fin difference”. She is strong-willed and tells how she doesn’t want people to treat her differently. Characters also learn the importance of taking care of the planet. (65 minutes)

Common danger in live-action/CGI version of classic story.

Pinocchio” is a bit more intense than the animated classic (which itself has some pretty dark moments). Pinocchio (Benjamin Evan Ainsworth) is kidnapped, imprisoned, almost turned into a donkey and swallowed by a sea monster. A beloved character seems to die in one scene, and other characters are tossed about, threatened, beaten on the head, captured and imprisoned, set on fire, teased, chased by the sea monster and enslaved. Some situations, bad characters and bad behavior can be shocking to younger or more sensitive viewers. But the messages are solid: Pinocchio must learn to follow his conscience; distinguish good from evil; to resist temptation; and prove that he is brave, honest and selfless. His creator/father, Geppetto (Tom Hanks), and his nanny, Jiminy Cricket (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), already model these qualities. There are quite a few taunts (such as “stupid”, “loser”, “idiot”, “jerk ” and more) and some teasing. Other language includes “jackass”, “he-double hockey sticks”, “bollocks”, “blimey” and “crock”. (105 minutes)

Available on Disney Plus.

Welcome to Wrexham (TV-MA)

Feel-good reality show is a sports underdog story.

Welcome to Wrexham” is a reality show about a low-level soccer team (football for Americans) based in Wrexham, Wales. It was bought by celebrities Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney, who have an eye on improving the team’s chances. Strong messages of optimism, perseverance and teamwork prevail, and the general tone is light and positive. Both players and owners see how they work together for a common goal, and they support each other. Language and swearing includes “f—“, “s—“, “hell” and British expressions such as “t–s up” (a bust). We see participants drinking in social situations (e.g. in a pub) and often see logos and other images associated with different sports teams. This uplifting show is suitable for all the family to watch, if the unflowered swearing isn’t a problem for your family. (Eight half-hour episodes)

Common Sense Media helps families make smart media choices. Go to common sense.org for age-based and educational ratings and reviews for movies, games, apps, TV shows, websites, and books.

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