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Jake and the Never Land Pirates - TV Show Review for Parents

About.com Rating 4 Star Rating

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Jake and the Never Land Pirates
Photo © Disney Jr.
TV Rating: TV-Y
Genre: Childrens animated/educational
Guide age recommendation: 2-5
Episode length: half hour (2 stories)
Network: Disney Channel

Jake and the Never Land Pirates - Overview

Ahoy Mateys! Jake and his band of pirates take preschoolers on animated adventures in a musical show that includes positive social messages for viewing children. The adventurous band of kid pirates, Jake, Cubby and Izzy, have a hideout on Pirate Island, and they sail the seas on their ship "Bucky" with their trusty parrot pal Skully looking for lost treasure.

Captain Hook and Mr. Smee, from Disney's classic Peter Pan, are always causing trouble for Jake and his pirate band, but with teamwork, positive attitudes and sea smarts, Jake and his friends win the day. The characters on the show model teamwork, problem-solving and physical activity and earn gold doubloons for their accomplishments. Each episode contains two 11-minute stories, and the crew counts their doubloons at the end of each story.

The show contains rockin' pirate music throughout, including many humorous little ditties performed by Sharky and Bones, two of Captain Hook's crew members. Each episode ends with a live action video performed by The Never Land Pirate Band -- Loren Hoskins and Kevin Hendrickson, dressed as real life versions of Sharky and Bones.

Captain Hook and Mr. SmeePhoto © Disney Jr.

Jake and the Never Land Pirates - Guide Review for Parents

Where the worlds of princesses and fairies so captivate little girls, boys are ever enchanted with things like cowboys and pirates. Jake and the Never Land Pirates presents a pirate world both boys and girls can enjoy, however. With Izzy and her pixie dust providing the deus ex machina at the end of every episode, at least all of the ones I've seen, and recurrent characters such as Marina the mermaid and the Pirate Princess, girls can feel just as represented by the characters on the show as boys do. Boys and girls alike will enjoy the bright animation, lively characters and paradisaical settings, not to mention the kid-friendly, non-violent swashbuckling action.

Though historically pirates have represented a highly dishonorable and unsavory section of society, Jake and his band of "puny pirates," as Captain Hook calls them, could not be nicer. Jake and team excellently model positive social concepts such as sharing, fair play, doing the right thing (even when you don't have to) and more. The characters also encourage young viewers to count along as they add up their gold doubloons at the end of each episode.

The storylines in each episode often follow a similar pattern. Captain Hook steals something or otherwise causes trouble, and Jake and friends have to get their treasure back, whatever it may be, or stop him from doing something unwise. The stories are short and go quickly, so the show is a faster pace than some other shows directed at the preschooler age group. Due to the fast pace and somewhat loud music, this can be a show that gets a little obnoxious if it's on for too long.

In reasonable quantities, it's not bad, though, and kids will enjoy the rockin' pirate music that provides a backbone to each episode. You can also expect to hear your kids repeat some if the fun-to-say phrases often used on the show such as: "Ah coconuts!" "Ye hey, no way!" and "Yo ho, let's go!"

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