Sunday, December 26, 2010

TV Review - Stella & Sam

Playhouse Disney has a new show coming out in January - Stella and Sam is based on the books of the same name, written and illustrated by Canadian author Marie-Louise Gay. The show revolves around sister Stella (9), her adoring little brother Sam (4), their dog Fred and their adventures in the big wide world of their backyard.  Stella is confident and smart and worldly in Sam's eyes, and he looks to her for guidance on many matters. He can be a little timid it seems. Although she may not always have the "right" answer, she always comes up with something to stave off his curiosity.

When Sam asks her why trees lose their leaves, she tells him that it's because they shake so hard when they are cold. Where does the sun sleep? In a big bed on the moon. That's why the moon glows at night.

This is a sweet, innocent look at life through the eyes of children. If you're picky about details and educational value, this one may not be for you. Little Boo corrected me when I commented on the fireflies in one episode. "No Momma. They're Night Fairies." Thanks Stella. But for me that's ok.  A world of playful make-believe awaits in this series, and I like that. It feels very much like watching real little kids playing and letting their imaginations run wild.

The animation is simple, clean and quite lovely. It seems to be very true to the style of illustration in the original books.

I did bring in my expert guest reviewer, AKA Little Boo, to get the opinion of an actual 4 year-old boy on this. His profound summation- "I like it Mommy." When pressed he couldn't come up with anything in particular that made him like it - "It's all special" was his response. He did say he would recommend his friends check it out.

Produced by Radical Sheep Productions, Stella and Sam will premiere on Playhouse Disney on Sunday, January 9, at 10:30am EST.  This will be the show's regular timeslot, with a re-broadcast the next Saturday at 10:30am EST. The show will repeat Saturday and Sunday evenings at 8:00pm EST. You can also check out a sneak peek episode on New Year's Eve at 4pm ET/PT.

I think this one will be added to our regular viewing routines.

Disclaimer: I received a press package including two Stella and Sam books and a preview DVD of two episodes to facilitate this review.Thank you to MomCentral Canada and Playhouse Disney. I was not otherwise compensated, and the opinions in this review are my own.

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