Quirky buddy comedy celebrates kid friendships.
“Kiff” is an animated series about a squirrel and bunny best friend duo. While there’s not much iffy content, it is intended for an audience more mature than preschoolers. There’s some brief pushing and shoving and instances of characters expressing negative feelings toward one another. Other scenes include characters feeling mild sadness or fear. Kiff’s best friend Barry’s family includes a few teen siblings. Sometimes their negative teenager qualities are used as a foil to the more innocent intentions of Kiff (voiced by Kimiko Glenn) and Barry (Michael Croner). There are infrequent mild innuendo jokes (like laughing that a doctor’s office is called a private practice). Otherwise, parents may enjoy watching this silly and quirky comedy alongside their kids. (Six 22-minute episodes)
Available on Disney Plus.
Wordless cartoon has slapstick violence, poor role models.
“Karate Sheep” is a cartoon about a wolf and two sheep engaged in a Wile E. Coyote/Road Runner-style battle of foes. There’s constant slapstick violence and cartoonish aggression, but no weapons. Animal characters are frequently in peril but never have lasting injuries. There’s no dialogue in the show, so there are minimal positive messages and role models present. (13 22-minute episodes)
The Magician’s Elephant (PG)
Child bravely faces danger in book-based tale of hope.
“The Magician’s Elephant” is an animated adaptation of best-selling author Kate DiCamillo’s book of the same name. Young boy Peter (voice of Noah Jupe) is raised in scarcity, forced to eat “small fish and stale bread” every day. He’s been told that his sister was killed in a war, but when a prophecy suggests she might be alive, he puts himself repeatedly in harm’s way to find her. This involves a sword fight with a giant soldier and a challenge to fly from the rooftops of the tallest buildings. Other characters have also lost family members in the war or been separated from them, and an old woman is injured when an elephant falls on her. The elephant is kept in chains and has nightmares about being separated from her family. The king enjoys seeing people risking their lives or getting hurt. Peter helps his village — depicted as a diverse community — see the beauty in possibility and regain its sense of hope and wonder with characters displaying courage and compassion throughout. The voice cast features White, Black, British, American, Indian-heritage and Chinese-heritage actors. (103 minutes)
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