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I fondly remember the days when I turn on the TV as soon as I got home in hopes of catching Libery's Kids. Those were the days. It was a delightful TV show. The animation was decent (nothing spectacular, but no Clutch Cargo either), the voicing was...interesting (Sylvester Stallone as Paul Revere. 'Nuff said), the characters were engaging (who could forget Henri leading all those sheep?), and the historical lessons were well integrated throughout the show, managing to convey a solid lesson of the American Revolution without seeming like one of those boring movies we watch in US History. This was an extremely effective learning resource. My father is always dragging my family around to historical points of interest of the American Revolution during family vacations. Museums, memorials, etc. I've seen them all. I can honestly say that thanks to Liberty's Kids, I often know more than the tour guide does at lots of these attractions. Not only that, but thanks to Liberty's Kids my interest in matters pertaining to the American Revolution is very active (well, Felicity started it. Liberty's Kids definitely made me more interested, though). Just a wonderful show. It's sad that it's disappearing, because it seems like future generations (even kids born ten years after me) won't be able to benefit from this TV show. Please, whoever owns this, get it completely out on DVD. I'll buy it, whatever the cost. Please!
I am a 35 year old parent with 4 year old and 2 year old boys. We watched Liberty's Kids every day. We especially loved the repeats because that is how the boys were able to grasp everything and remember it. What happened to it? Where did it go? We miss it very much. It was our favorite show. As a parent I feel that there is very little on television for children to watch and learn in a fun way. Liberty's Kids was interesting, educational, exciting, fun and held my boys attention for the entire 30 minutes. I wish there was a Civil War version of Liberty's Kids. Yes, we are a History loving family, but even if we weren't, we would still love Liberty's Kids. I want it back on television. Please. What do I have to do to get it back on PBS Pittsburgh?
Being British I'm terribly offended by this show, it shows us in a bad
light and is full of historical inaccuracies. It should be taken off
the air and I'm considering filing a class action law suit against PBS
and it's sponsors for all of the racism and nervous shock it causes me!
No only kidding! I saw this show recently and not only is it an
excellent children's TV show but they could do allot worse by allowing
high school students to see this -- it should be on the curriculum. I
think that a cartoon might hold the attention span of the students
longer than a documentary or a history lecture.
Having said all that PBS is taking some risks here with this show. It actually shows the Americans in a good light which what I know about PBS is unusual. I'm sure this as far as they would go, because they would never dare show a cartoon series of the Mexican-American war, Custers last stand, the Alamo, the gold rush or even W.W.II in such a noble way without creating outrage from disgruntled Spanish-speaking Americans, native Americans as well Asian Americans(not to mention law suits).
It seems that we Brits are still fair game in the eyes of PBS. If PBS want's to continue receiving vast amount of cash from it's sponsors and pledge money from willing viewers keep an eye out for "civil war kids" and "slavery kids" some time in the future
Liberty's Kids is a great show for kids just beginning to learn the American Revolution. It presents events, such as the Boston Tea Party, in easy to understand ways and with accurate information. In the first episode about the Boston Tea Party, kids learn about Phyllis Whitley, a woman barely touched upon in most social studies classes, if at all. Also, by bringing a British girl who opposes slavery and the Revolution into the mix, one gets the viewpoints from all sides. And lastly, the series offers a huge array of big names bringing these important characters to life, most notably Walter Cronkite as Benjamin Franklin. These 40 episodes, all about different, important stages of the Revolution, can be a wonderful addition to a lesson and really can bring to life the story for kids struggling with the concepts. I highly recommend it.
Liberty's Kids is PBS Kids series that takes place in the Colonal era.
Hiller (voiced by Chris Lundquist), a ophan who meets Englishlady Sarah
Philips (voiced by Reo Jones) during The Boston Tea Party. Other
such as Moses (voiced by D. Kevin Williams) who also rescued Frenchboy
(voiced by Kathleen Barr) from the ship. James and Sarah become reporters
The Pennslyvania Gazette whiched owned by Dr. Benjamin Franklin (voiced by
TV news legend Walter Cronkite).
They also meet important colonial figures like George Washington through John Adams (voiced by Billy Crystal). The show has other celebrity voices like Woopi Goldberg through Dustin Hoffman.
This is the best show on PBS since "Square One TV/Mathnet" and "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood."
I give it 10 out of 10.
Really great program. Withstanding the goofs listed, this film is a very helpful tool in my 8th grade U.S. History class. Due to governmental guidelines, I am teaching children that are not on "grade level", but are expected to pass state exams on material covering this time in history. I would hope that viewers would look at the basic historic events, so wonderfully presented for all age levels, as a learning tool and not look for ulterior motives. What a novel idea that learning historical facts can be entertaining and easy. Too many people are so full of their own intelligence, they don't think of the ones that struggle with academia, and are quick to claim "political incorrectness". If they think that the British are portrayed as our "enemies" in this series, guess what, they were. Key word being "were". The negative comment that I read about this film made me realize why so many of our programs are canceled. I applaud PBS for airing this program and have witnessed the effects that it has on children. I haven't had any students coming in ready to obliterate all British citizens, but I have had many come in with prior knowledge of the Coercive Acts, Boston Tea Party, Patrick Henry, Samuel Adams and much more information from this time period in our history.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
As an American with an English parent, I don't find many of the
depictions of British so offensive. I think my mother shrugged much of
it off as being the American way. Yes, it would be nice to see a more
open depiction of the English (wow, that would be a first) from the
Revolutionary war, and no, you won't ever be seeing any such
fair-minded depiction of Confederate children or WWII Japanese kids
coming to any animated program anytime soon.
I would often leave the TV going in the next room and kept hearing this melodramatic violin music and crescendo in a cartoon for a commercial bumper, then accompanied by a half-hip hop ending credits. I became intrigued and ended up watching the show (as well as having Walter Cronkite doing Ben Franklin, the one that finally got me was Dustin Hoffman) Whether the show has historical accuracy is one major facet. That the show is so obviously slanted American, I don't focus on this aspect.
What I do note is the pretentiousness in the main characters of the youths, happily engaging in friendship with the slaves (hard to refer to them as such in the program).
I just watched the episode with the declaration of independence coming about and the one African-American fellow kept boldly and steadfastly insisting on freedom for slaves. The cartoon literally seemed to want to end on an upbeat note, but uh, guys, freedom ain't coming about for any slaves anytime in these peoples lives.
So until the, GOD BLESS America! The whole program TRYING to deal with this and not wanting to say 'but for now, you're still a slave' is like a SNL skit.
The episode was further compounded by the two kids, the redhead girl and the blonde guy (same Hollywood imaging they always have. Check out the hair color reversals from Johan and Peewee who used to be on the Smurfs), WANTING to report on the goings on but being told they weren't allowed. And Im going to really get a kick out of watching this show now and when someone is talking, seeing one of these kids off to the side writing on a little notepad.
They're "reporting!" It was funny when the guards kept removing the kids from the doors and windows and the kid says "those guys take their jobs too seriously!" All I could think was these waifs were taking the idea of reporting the events too seriously.
In the 70s, we were given Schoolhouse Rock, with America Rock, and a generation or two to this day cannot recite the pre-amble without singing it. I took a daily grade as a zero in school for not reciting the pre-amble simply because I can't. I must sing it.
A few scant years before, there was US of ARchie, a show I did enjoy, which runs very similar to liberty Kids here.
These are all at least an introduction, yes, inaccurate, but they can be an introduction.
Liberty's Kids is a story of American History told as a cartoon. While the story revolves around three children (or teens, not sure what are their actual ages) acting as reporters for Ben Franklin's news reporters for the Pennsylvania Gazette, the people they interact with are the historical people from the birth of our nation. George Washington, Ben Franklin, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Br. Generals Howe, and Cornwallis are all present. This is an easy way for people to learn history. For example, I like history, but did not know the story about Delaware's Sidney Rodney. After taking my children to see the still operating printing press at the Ben Franklin Museum in Olde City Philadelphia, it was neat to see in the cartoon Sarah Phillips inking the print the same way. The cartoon does a good job at the balancing act of showing that the war was no picnic without gratuitous violence. It is safe for young kids to watch. Battles are shown, but it is the political action that is more important. Likewise, the English, (and Hessians) are not made out to be evil, but are shown as any history book would. This series is suitable for all ages.
I remember this show as a kid and how much I enjoyed watching. It is
both an educational and entertaining show that teaches kids about the
American Revolution. There are very few children's shows on television
that are about history, much less those that are as good as this one.
Sure, there are good shows that teach kids about many other subjects
like math and English, however history is greatly overlooked.
The story is about Sarah, a Loyalist girl from England, James, a colonial journalist working for Ben Franklin, Henri, a little French orphan, and Moses, a freed African who works at the print shop. Together they live and experience the American Revolution firsthand.
However there is one thing I wish this show had done, which was show a little more of what it was like to be a loyalist in America during and post war. Sure there were a few loyalists here and there, but it would have been more interesting if they had shown a little more of the struggles that loyalist families had at that time and how families were torn apart do to the war. That aside, it's still a great history show for kids.
Long story short, this is one of my favorite shows from when I was a kid, and there should be a lot more like this on television today. Particularly shows that can get kids interested and excited about history.
I watched this show as a high school student, that's how good it is. A clear, entertaining, intelligent and accurate depiction of American history. Every child in America should watch this and learn about REAL HEROES who fought and died during the first years of the United States. With a central cast of three diverse teenagers living under the roof of Benjamin Franklin, viewers watch the development and progress of the American Revolution. The show encapsulates the ideas or love, life, death, and freedom perfectly, without "dumbing down" history. A great show and a great way of teaching kids about the roots of their country. Watch it!
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