So I don’t know what the weather is like in your part of the world today, but it’s sticky and overcast here. All the downsides of humidity with none of the sunny benefits! But it’ll probably lash soon, because this is Ireland. Which leads me nicely into the concept of the cartoon marathon – for those washed-out rainy days or sick days when the couch and some quality vegging is required.
If you’re looking for some Netflix recommendations for cartoons that both you and the little ones can enjoy together – emphasis on the you, of course, because we all know that some of them can be PAINFUL. (Thomas, I’m looking at you) – then you’ve come to the right place! We are the connoisseurs of quality cartoonage in this house.
Here’s our Top 5 picks:
Dragons: Race to the Edge
Netflix have just released a fantastic original series following the new adventures of Hiccup and Toothless from the How To Train Your Dragon film franchise. We absolutely loved the films and are really enjoying the series. I’m a big fan of the beautiful cartoon dressed up in life lessons of honesty, empathy and integrity, and this one has it in spades. As far as I can figure, the series seems to chronologically sit in between the first and the second film. It’s also a little tamer in terms of the life/death lessons etc., so anyone who found the films a little scary might find the series more enjoyable.
Space Racers is the perfect parent/child crowd pleaser. It’s an animated series for pre-schoolers that follows the adventures of spaceship cadets at the Stardust Bay Space Academy as they explore the solar system. It is exciting, funny, entertaining and jam-packed with education. It even has its own educational philosophy and downloadable curriculum, for gawd’s sake. Fans of STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) education for preschoolers will wet themselves with excitement. This cartoon is absolutely AWESOME as well as being ridiculously cute. I’ve had a number of space-related facts parroted back to me after some Space Racer watching, so I can attest to its educational value. It also wins the award for the catchiest theme tune on Netflix (yes, even catchier than Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt).
Another pre-schooler favourite, Animal Mechanicals features the team of transforming superheroes Rex, Unicorn, Komodo, Sasquatch and Mouse. This is another series full of exciting life lessons disguised as challenges. Each week the superheroes must overcome them by transforming into the “super” versions of themselves. This one is much loved by the smallies, not so much by the mums. By mums, I mean me. Maybe you love it. I find it a good time to put on the kettle and maybe mess around on Facebook.
Vic the Viking
Vic the Viking is a super smart little boy (it took me a few episodes to figure out if it was a boy or a girl, although it matters not a jot) who regularly uses his quick thinking and ingenuity to get his Viking chief dad and crew out of scrapes. I love this one because it’s all about the brains over brawn element – a little modern hero. I can watch this. The little man loves it. It also has a catchy theme tune, but obviously not a patch on the King of Tunes, Space Racers.
I’m noticing a theme in my recommendations here – science, history and life lessons anyone?? This CGI animation show comes from the Jim Henson Company stable, so of excellent stock! Dinosaur Train is about Buddy the T-Rex and his adoptive Pteranodon family who explore the world of dinosaurs on a train. It does exactly what it says on the tin. Just go with it, don’t question the train. It’s cool. There’s also little segues to fun facts presented by a man who, by pure coincidence, is called Scott the Palaeontologist, so that worked out well for everyone.
All five shows are available to watch on Netflix.
Do your smallies watch any of these shows, or would you add something else to the list?
Disclosure: I am a member of the Netflix #StreamTeam and received a Netflix subscription and an Apple TV in exchange for reviewing programmes on Netflix. However, as always, all opinions are entirely my own. Also, I’m not going to waste my time watching or writing about something that’s not entertaining for me. Life’s too short!