Amazon Original’s first forays into original programming, shows like Alpha House and Betas, have been met with critical acclaim. Earlier this summer, Amazon Studios released two preschool-targeted-animated series, Tumble Leaf and Creative Galaxy. On Friday, July 25, the streaming service is releasing latest release, the live-action adventure, Annedroids. The series comes from Emmy nominated producer JJ Johnson (Dino Dan) and is aimed at children ages four through seven. The series is about a young female genius, “Anne,” her human friends, android assistants and the amazing scientific discoveries they make while using principles of science, technology, engineering and math.
My two sons, ages 5 and 7 are the show’s target audience so I thought it’d be fun to watch the series with them. Both boys enjoyed JJ Johnson’s other series, Dino Dan, (although admittedly, I wondered why no one ever seemed horrified that dinosaurs were stomping through an otherwise peaceful Canadian suburb.) and like Dino Dan, Annedroids also uses a hybrid of live-action and CG animation. But I think the animation in Annedroids is far superior.
If you asked my boys what they thought of Annedroids, they would scream a resounding, “Awesome!” They loved the episodes that we watched so much that they chose to forgo the weekend’s major Disney/Pixar release to stay home and watch more episodes of Annedroids. And I promise, Amazon Prime didn’t bribe my kids in any way; the show is just that engaging. At the end of the show, when I overheard them talking about whether they’d prefer to own a robot or an android, you could have knocked me over with a feather. Learning on summer break? High five, Mom!
I have to agree with my boys; the show is great and I’d certainly prefer that my kids watch something edu-taining over something that I’m certain is rotting their brains. Annedroids presents scientific and engineering principles in a kid-friendly and easily digest way, and it combines androids (and what kid doesn’t love those?) with child actors who are incredibly talented and relatable.
Anne is played by veteran young actress Addison Holley, (Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood), her friend Nick is charming newcomer Jadiel Dowlin, and the show’s hilarious character Shania, is played with scene-stealing perfection by Adrianna Di Liello (Stage Fright). Their characters are a breath of fresh air: smart, curious, compassionate, friendly, and unlike kids on other kid-centric networks, Anne and her friends talk to each other instead of screaming at one another.
Annedroids premieres on Amazon Prime Instant Video on Friday, July 25. If you’re not already a member of Amazon Prime, don’t despair; you can try a free trial here.