"I have this little sister Lola. She is small and very funny." These are the words that Charlie uses to introduce each episode of Charlie and Lola, a fifteen minute cartoon from Britain currently airing in the USA on The Disney Channel, but he might as well be describing the show itself. This charming, lighthearted romp, based upon a series of picture books by Lauren Child is about Charlie, a wise, kind and very responsible boy of perhaps seven or eight years and his tiny adventures being big brother to quirky, determined, demanding and adorable Lola, age five. A typical episode concerns Charlie convincing fussy eater Lola to eat the foods on her list of things she "absolutely will never not ever eat." Rarely do we see a depiction in modern pop culture of such a healthy and loving sibling relationship as offered here. Charlie may at times be exasperated by his little sister, but he is always caring and respectful of her as he gently guides her through life, and most episodes end with the happy laughter of two children enjoying each other's company. Technically the animation is not much more advanced than that of South Park (to which this in no other way can be compared!) but is more imaginative and finely detailed. And the superb voice cast of actual children (usually child characters in animation are played by adult women, i.e. Nancy Cartwright as Bart Simpson) lifts this up to a whole other level. Pure delight.
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