Today, kids have so many options to experience entertainment. Back in your day, the TV had two channels: “On” and “Off.” And you were happy with that! Now, kids can stream ‘cat fails’ on YouTube for days. Luckily, every type of video platform (television, streamers, the web) still creates quality children’s content worth your dollar and worth their time. Here’s a list of the best entertainment for your kids this week, from an inspiring documentary, to a Disney film based on a real-life story, to two new animated seasons on TV.
This inspiring documentary follows a 13-year girl who struggles to become the first female eagle hunter in over 12 generations. Aisholpan comes from a nomadic Mongolian tribe, and along with her father, she is encouraged to follow her dreams and break new ground. The doc is narrated by another female ass-kicker, Daisy Ridley, who may or may not be Luke Skywalker’s daughter in The Force Awakens.
Common Sense’s Take: CSM calls this doc great for families, saying the female empowerment story “soars as it shows viewers exactly why girls and women should never be underestimated.” They add: “It’s a film that all children ⏤ regardless of gender ⏤ should see.”
QUEEN OF KATWE
Based on a true story, Katwe follows a Ugandan girl living in poverty, Phiona Mutesi, who discovers the game of chess and becomes a world master. It’s definitely the best movie about chess you’ll see all year, and probably next year too. It also boasts a powerful cast, including Lupita Nyong’o, who may or may not Yoda’s daughter in The Force Awakens.
Common Sense’s Take: Disney movies that recapture a real-life event tend to get magically upgraded with fiction, but CSM says there’s none of that here. “It doesn’t “Disney-fy” the hardships of being poor in Uganda. Phiona is a real person, and at the end of movie you get to see the people the actors portrayed and learn what’s become of them since the end of the story ⏤ an extra dash of inspiration.”
Queen Katwe is available on Amazon Video and Blu-ray.
SHIMMER AND SHINE
This preschooler series kicks off its third season with 20 new episodes that follow the twin genies-in-training. Shimmer and Shine make mistakes like normal kids, but they also happen to be all-powerful genies and sometimes goof when their friend Leah grants a wish. Take it easy on them, they’re new. If your kid was wishing they could see this show right now, then consider their wish granted ⏤ you can pull up free episodes on Nick’s website.
Common Sense’s Take: CSM says Shine “illustrates for kids the positive side of making mistakes and learning something from them.” The show promotes the importance of teamwork and overcoming obstacles, but if your kid starts wearing MC Hammer-genie-like pants, that’s on you.
Shimmer And Shine is currently airing weekdays on Nick and Nick Jr.
A kids show that focuses on siblings collecting magical swords feels like something that should have manifested in the late ’80s, but leave it to Cartoon Network to create a series on that premise. And also, to make it a comedy. Magiswords is by no means an educational program. It’s on the silly spectrum with SpongeBob, but the show’s got real life magic as it was recently picked up for a second season. It’s gotta be the swords.
Common Sense’s Take: Their review doesn’t beat around the bush when it comes to the show’s goofiness, noting, “The stories are fun for kids who enjoy a mix of fantasy adventure and comedy, but don’t look for yours to learn anything by watching; this show is the equivalent of candy for your kids’ media diets.” So just like candy, everything in moderation.
Mighty Magiswords is currently airing weekdays on Cartoon Network.
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