Review: Binge-worthy children’s shows
By Joanna MacGown
I have a high tolerance for fluff and/or cheese, which combined with my aversion to gore and general creepiness, has often led me to find solace in stories aimed at children.
So now, with the end of the semester looming ever nearer, I present five animated kids shows which are at the very least well-made, and I’ve enjoyed them all. Whether you find yourself entertaining some tiny humans over the holidays or just want to let your brain rest after finals, here are some quality shows to binge.
“Steven Universe” (HBOMax, digital purchase): This show is adorable and the characters are precious. It also has a knack for incorporating musical numbers naturally into the show and generally encouraging viewers to live their best lives. It starts out episodic and gradually transitions into a larger plot (with mixed success), but remains consistently engaging.
“Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug and Cat Noir” (Netflix): This flashy French CG cartoon has some fabulous animated action. It’s more episodic than “Steven Universe,” with plot arcs mainly serving to set up big superhero battles. It also has a colorful cast of characters, but the main draw is the two-person love square involving the titular magical superheroes.
“She-Ra and the Princesses of Power” (Netflix): While the plot is an interesting blend of sci-fi and fantasy, the main things that I enjoyed were (some of) the characters and the retro aesthetic. It’s one of those shows where the villains are way more interesting than the good guys, except that they actually give said villains the chance to reform!
“Avatar: The Last Airbender” (Netflix): If “She-ra” has too much pink/glitter/gay for your taste, this animesque fantasy might be more your speed. The show, like its protagonist, is more on the light and goofy side (especially in the first season), but it’s an interesting world with likable characters.
“Princess Tutu” (HIDIVE, Amazon Prime): This one may be harder to find streaming, but I cannot recommend it enough. It brilliantly employs a classical soundtrack to create a ballet in anime form that is also a postmodern fairy tale. It’s definitely a show for older children (if not as bad as the TV-14 would seem to imply), as the story gets pretty dark in the latter half, dealing with subjects including abuse and suicide. It takes a few episodes to really get interesting (usually episode 3 or 7 will do the trick), but the ending is as close to perfect as I’ve ever seen.