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SHOWS FOR YOUNGSTERS AND THEIR PARENTS TOO

Lessons learned from a prized mouse, a talking turtle and 'Dumb Bunnies' who aren't all that dumb

September 27, 1998|LYNNE HEFFLEY | TIMES STAFF WRITER

This week marks the launch of five of six animated children's series in CBS' new lineup of Saturday morning shows, most of which are based on children's books and have been created expressly to conform to FCC educational guidelines, according to the network.

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A happy, good-hearted little turtle, and his animal pals Bear, Beaver, Rabbit, Badger, Fox and Goose, play together and learn gentle lessons in responsibility, respect and friendship in Franklin (7 a.m.), based on the books by Paulette Bourgeois and Brenda Clark. For ages 3 to 7.

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Anatole (7:30 a.m.), the dignified mouse hero of Eve Titus' Caldecott Award-winning book series, serves as an ambassador between the worlds of mice and humans. His adventures with his cocky ami Gaston and Pierre, a pigeon who hates to fly, are intended to affirm the value of perseverance, confidence and creativity. For ages 5 to 9.

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Dave Pilkey's popular Scholastic series about a very silly rabbit family, Dumb Bunnies (8 a.m.), inspired this comic show in which Momma, Poppa and Baby Bunny solve problems in their own offbeat ways--such as trying to remedy their town's cheese shortage by going to the moon to stock up. For ages 5 to 9.

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In the comic Flying Rhino Junior High (8:30 a.m.), based on the "Flying Rhinoceros" books by Ray Nelson and Douglas Kelly, a bunch of quick-thinking students make it their mission to foil the plots of Earl P. Sidebottom, who is able to tranport the school to faraway locales and into the past. At one point, for instance, dinosaurs invade the school until the gang manages to create an artificial "Ice Age." For ages 7 to 11.

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A mischievous young fledgling named Eddie--who's also an aspiring filmmaker--along with his eccentric bird family, are at the center of "Birdz" (11 a.m.), an original series created by Larry Jacobs. Eddie's adolescent-type comic misadventures are meant to underscore the importance of values and decision-making. For ages 7 to 11.

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