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Reduced whining would've made this show better. Pretty decent otherwise.
As a child, Angelina Ballerina was one of my absolute favorite shows. Now, as a grown person, I'm going to evaluate on the show's ups and downs.
Angelina Ballerina aired on PBS here in the States. Most PBS cartoons are loosely based on popular children's books, and Angelina Ballerina is no different, being based on the eponymous books written by Katharine Holabird and illustrated by Helen Craig. As for production, a company called Grand Slamm Children's Films (GSCF for short) produced the series for HiT Entertainment (owned since 2012 by Mattel, Inc.)
That's enough background info, let's get on with the show itself:
For a show aimed at such a young demographic, the drawings are quite detailed and the animation is rather fluid, and the art style stays very true to its source material. When you compare Peppa Pig to Angelina Ballerina, you can tell that more effort on the art style and animation was put on the latter.
The characters, while forgettable by some, impact the show quite a bit. Angelina herself (voiced by Finty Williams) has a lifelong goal of becoming a prima ballerina, but sometimes she is TOO feisty for her own good; we'll cross THAT bridge when we come to it. Her best friend, Alice (voiced by Jo Wyatt), is a gymnast who's supportive of Angelina and is never too busy for a snack. Her ballet teacher, Miss Lilly, is perhaps the most likable of the cast, and not just because she's voiced by Judi Dench. Miss Lilly sets great examples for her students not just on ballet, but on life, as shown through the morals Angelina learns from her mistakes. And those are just 3 of a diverse cast of anthropomorphic rodents. There's also William (voiced by Keith Wickham), who has a crush on Angelina, Henry (also voiced by Jo Wyatt), Angelina's younger cousin who is also supportive of her, Penelope and Priscilla (AKA the Pinkpaw twins) are often envious of Angelina's talent and pester the other Mouselings. Finally, we've got Sammy (also voiced by Jo Wyatt), who's sorta like the Pinkpaws, but he has a heart of gold and a fair share of moments he regrets.
If there's one thing that's not-so-good about Angelina Ballerina, it's Angelina's behavior. When I said Angelina is sometimes TOO feisty for her own good, I meant Angelina whines quite often in the series, and that can be a severe obstacle to any entertainment her show provides. I'm going to list some episodes where Angelina's immaturity kicks off:
Angelina at the Fair: While a good adaption of the book, Angelina was kinda bossy and selfish around Henry, and it took her until the END of the episode to get him the balloon and merry-go-round ride he wanted. And when Angelina loses Henry, that's when her crying kicks in. To be fair, Henry was also in the wrong, but given that Angelina's older than him, she should know a little better.
Angelina's Baby Sister: Angelina gets a new baby sister named Polly; This episode is what I brand as "Main character gets extremely envious of the arrival of his/her baby sibling" cliche, and boy do they pull it off here.
Anya's Visit: Anya is a character who appeared in a couple of episodes; "Angelina and Anya", which was pretty good, and "Anya's Visit", which was pretty bad. Angelina and Anya is what I consider the best Angelina Ballerina episode because Angelina actually clears Anya's name while she's being bullied by Sammy & the Pinkpaws. That was one of Angelina's most likable moments, but things go crumbling down in Anya's next appearance. I can't defend Angelina on this one, because she was a complete jerk to Anya throughout her stay. Even as a kid, I didn't buy Angelina standing up for a new character in one episode and then making that same character as uncomfortable as possible in another.
At this rate, Angelina is comparable to Caillou. However, unlike Caillou, Angelina actually LEARNS the moral she's given at the end, regrets her actions, and even
apologized in some episodes. However, not even that can compare to Angelina being around Arthur's age (They're both 8 years old) and, given that information, should be a little more flexible when in situations portrayed in her series.
Most PBS shows emphasize on morals. Angelina Ballerina's morals are to do whatever it takes to pursuit your goals and learn from your mistakes along the way.
In conclusion, Angelina Ballerina is WAY better than shows like Barney & Friends and Dora the Explorer, but it is nowhere near the ballpark of Arthur and Sesame Street. It's sort-off in-between those ranges. Would I recommend this series? If you want child-friendly entertainment values, you'll have to get past Angelina's whining. Otherwise, it's up to you. Angelina Ballerina isn't as bad as some people make it out to be, with the only MAJOR problem being Angelina's whining. If she whined less, or best case scenario didn't whine at all, then the show would've sacrificed some realistic behavior patterns for an enjoyable experience for everyone.
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