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Mom, what can I watch today?


WORLD Radio - Mom, what can I watch today?

Three shows with great values for kids

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MYRNA BROWN, HOST: Today is Friday, March 10th. Thank you for turning to WORLD Radio to help start your day.

Good morning. I’m Myrna Brown.

NICK EICHER, HOST: And I’m Nick Eicher

Coming next on The World and Everything in It: worthwhile kids shows.

It seems like everyday we hear about kids’ programs undermining traditional values or pushing a progressive political agenda. There’s a lot of rubbish out there. It’s hard for parents to sift through everything to find the gems.

Here’s Collin Garbarino with suggestions for shows that offer kids—and their parents—some timely and entertaining lessons.

COLLIN GARBARINO: Today I want to talk about three kids’ cartoons that explore the nature of virtue and the individual’s relationship to government. But don’t worry. These shows aren’t boring civics lessons.


Some of our listeners in their late twenties and early thirties will remember that theme song. It’s from Liberty’s Kids, which originally aired on PBS 20 years ago.

The series follows the adventures of teenagers James and Sarah who befriend Ben Franklin during the American Revolution. In 40 episodes, the narrative weaves the fictional adventures of the kids with the historical events of America’s founding. It’s an engaging—sometimes nail biting—story, and it doesn’t hurt that the voice cast includes some heavy hitters. An entire generation knows the voice of Walter Cronkite as Ben Franklin.

BEN FRANKLIN: Leaving England convinced me that a fight between the colonies and the crown is now inevitable.

MOSES: Being here would have convinced you of the same thing. British soldiers fired on our people at Lexington and Concord.

BEN FRANKLIN: The crown’s men fired upon her own subjects? Unthinkable. Tell me everything, Moses.

MOSES: Here. You can read all about it.

BEN FRANKLIN: The Shot Heard ‘Round the World. By James Hiller and Sarah Phillips. I’m very proud of them. And now we must prepare for war.

I appreciate Liberty’s Kids attention to detail and nuance. It’s definitely a patriotic series, but at the same time we see the birthing pains of a nation in which not every American wanted independence and not all Americans got freedom. You can stream the complete series for free on YouTube.

Now my next pick doesn’t have a lot of nuance.


But it’s got plenty of spunk and it’s definitely teaching some lessons about freedom and personal responsibility. Tuttle Twins is a series from Angel Studios that feels like a cross between The Magic School Bus, Phineas and Ferb, and Ronald Reagan’s presidency.

The show is about two kids and their Cuban grandma who hates socialism.

TWINS: Grandma Gabby!

GRANDMA GABBY: Smaller copies of my DNA! Hvow are you, amorcitos?

MOM: Kids, Grandma Gabby’s going to be moving in with us. Her retirement community doesn’t allow illegal pets.

GRANDMA GABBY: HOAs are full of communists, isn’t that right Derek?

Oh, and she also has a time machine, which she uses to visit men like John Locke and Ben Franklin to teach the grandkids about liberty and sound economics.

The show is fast-paced and a little sassy with plenty of jokes aimed at both kids and parents. If you check it out, maybe consider skipping the second episode about doing unto others as you would have them do unto you. It seems to say all religions teach the same morality. The series has a definite libertarian streak to it. But even if you don’t agree with every lesson, it offers amusing counterprogramming to other kids’ shows and it might provoke some lively conversations.

ETHAN: You can start a business with a cool idea? Whoah! I wanna be an entrepreneur!

MOM: Absolutely, anyone can be an entrepreneur! Unless you live in a totalitarian regime where they oppress people, resources, and ideas—you know, like North Korea or California.

Season Two debuted earlier this week. You can stream all the episodes for free on the Angel Studios website or using the Angel Studios app.

My final suggestion, and probably my favorite, is The Long Long Holiday. It’s a French animated series that first aired in 2015. It’s currently available on Amazon’s Prime Video.

COLETTE: Granny, I missed you!

GRANNYLI: Oh, I missed you too, my Colette.

ERNEST: Hello, Granpalou.

GRANDPALOU: Hello there, young man.

COLETTE: Grandpalou!

GRANDPALOU: Oh, you’ve gotten heavy, my darling.

It’s 1939, and two Parisian children visit their grandparents in Normandy. Their short vacation turns into a long stay when Germans invade, and the children can’t get back to their parents.

The series is beautiful, yet a little heavy. It depicts the Nazi occupation of France through the eyes of children.

COLETTE: It isn’t much.

ALL: Nope.

ERNEST: With all the requisitioning, I don’t know what we’re going to do.

BOY: No more fabric, no more shoes, no more bicycle tires, and now almost nothing left to eat, except turnips and Jerusalem artichokes. Yuck.

OTHER BOY: Yeah, everything Tissier has, he sells really expensively on the black market.

Juxtaposing the joys of childhood with the sorrows of war makes for an emotionally moving story. A veneer of darkness is on the land, but The Long Long Holiday tells a story about friendship, heroism, and solidarity. Ultimately, it’s a story about love and hope.

These shows remind us that small virtuous actions can make a big difference in our world. We shouldn’t wait for the government to fix our problems. But each of us can make the world a little better through perseverance and kindness.


I’m Collin Garbarino.

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.


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