Liberty's Kids: Est. 1776 (TV Series 2002–2003) Poster

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An awesome show goes missing
giraffeblimp23 January 2006
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!
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10/10
"Liberty Kid's: Est. 1776"
pbowen-611 December 2006
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.
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Where did it go? We miss it!
keli9724 November 2004
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?
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9/10
Libety's Kids is a huge asset for teachers!
PMSchnell31 January 2007
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.
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Every child in America should watch this show
thedoctor70030 November 2011
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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9/10
Amusing
richard.fuller16 June 2010
Warning: 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.
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Very Good
jprice-47 November 2002
Liberty's Kids is PBS Kids series that takes place in the Colonal era. James Hiller (voiced by Chris Lundquist), a ophan who meets Englishlady Sarah Philips (voiced by Reo Jones) during The Boston Tea Party. Other characters such as Moses (voiced by D. Kevin Williams) who also rescued Frenchboy Henri (voiced by Kathleen Barr) from the ship. James and Sarah become reporters of 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.
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8/10
Not bad!!
unreasonableboy4 February 2007
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
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7/10
Great History Show for Kids
TheDauphine20 September 2014
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.
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10/10
American History the easy way
Paul Kenny30 December 2006
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.
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great for kids
unicorndreams15 September 2005
This show taught kids that sometimes there are things worth standing up for and some things you let lay. For freedom, we have to stand up and defend it. In the beginning only a few complained about everything and they are the ones that lost out in the end. My children, one is 9 and the other 7 along with my 4 year old loved it. This show is something they could relate to; it helped them understand more of what their father defends everyday, not the crazy laws we have and the silly things that go on in court. It really teaches them and that makes it worthwhile. I am just sorry that PBS has to bow down. They have since lost lots of viewers over this and with the current programs, I can understand why. We no longer watch PBS.
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4/10
I expect better from public television
As a history 'buff' from a young age, I first watched 'Liberty's Kids' mainly out of curiosity. I was disappointed, to say the least, to find a public television programme spewing forth such sophomoric pablum to pass for 'history'. The episodes that I watched did not address the causes of the War of American Independence (other than to say, more or less, that it was because the big, bad British wanted to tax the poor downtrodden colonists out of their hard-earned cash), nor the actual circumstances of most of the colonists. It was neither factually correct (merely selectively), nor intellectually honest (as most other PBS shows, I've found, are).

Firstly, the war was fought as a direct result of a treaty that the British made on behalf of the colonists with the various Native American tribes that allied with the French during the Seven Years' War. The Proclamation of 1763 recognised native claims to land west of Appalachia, which many colonists chose to ignore. Instead, they preferred to encroach upon native lands and murder the rightful owners, then protested when British common law made objection. The Stamp Act and the Sugar Act were, granted, more immediate causes, but the discontent over taxes fed off of the prior discontent over the Proclamation.

The war was a rebellion, and as most rebellions are, the WAI was messy. It caused a great deal of suffering among many colonial communities, more so among those still loyal to the Crown, and even more so among the Native Americans that found themselves being dragged in. (A notable player in the Northern War was the Mohawk nation of the Haudenosaunee led by Joseph Brant, but Brant seemed not to warrant mention, being a Native American.) Nor were the tens of thousands of colonists that were driven from their homes either by force or by circumstance to Canada, to Britain and to the West Indies throughout the war (and after). The representative of the Loyalists on the show was an elderly English lady of means, perpetuating the stereotype that the Loyalists were on the whole reactionary, well-off, and 'out of touch'.

More disturbing to my mind has already been touched on by a previous reviewer - it doesn't help kids understand the motivations and the mindsets of the British, preferring instead to make them the Empire of Star Wars: wanton, callous and cruel (in the historical school of Mel Gibson, naturally. It's always a simple battle between 'us' - the 'good guys', and 'them' - the inscrutable, inhuman 'bad guys'). Come on, folks, give kids some credit for intelligence. They understand more than they let on - they can understand a few moral complexities, such as there certainly were during the War of American Independence. Shows such as 'GhostWriter' and 'Mister Rogers' Neighbourhood', that taught social responsibility and, yes, critical ethical thinking, are far more valuable than this pap. Come on, public television, show some class!
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1/10
Horrible anti-British nonsense
beeryusa25 June 2008
This show is (or was - thankfully I hear it has been cancelled) the worst show on PBS. As an Englishman with a small daughter living in the US I was afraid of the discrimination my daughter might face thanks to the appalling xenophobic tripe that Liberty's Kids was filling young minds with.

I feel strongly that this show was actually harmful to young people - it made virtues out of xenophobia and nationalism. Not only that, but it was bad history too.

I hope it never appears in re-runs or on home video. American kids deserve better than this simplistic and hurtful rubbish.
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The first time!
tightasschef1525 July 2005
I remember when I first watched Liberty's Kids...It was during the summer of 2004. I was just flippin' through the channels and I came across the show. I thought, "What the heck? I'll watch this to pass the time." But, I was hooked! I was drawn to the colors. And, I thought that the theme song was very clever and moving. I was more attracted to the character development than anything else. I'm not really a history buff. But, this show actually got me interested in this period of United States's history. This show has something for every age. If you are into stuff about dates and war. This is for you! If you like emotions and high drama, watch this show! Get it on DVD! You won't be disappointed...!
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8/10
Best way to get my students to pay attention
patrickrobert-2529716 September 2016
This series beats the heck out of my lecturing to my students. I teach U.S. History to 1877, and we are coming now to the American Revolution. I have shown the Boston Tea Party and the shot heard 'round the world videos to them, and they actually pay attention, rather than talk or fidget or sleep as they are sometimes prone to do when I'm talking. I can't use all the videos, but there are some which may find their way into my class, such as the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. It's a painless, entertaining way to present the revolutionary era, and I would recommend these (they're on YouTube) to other teachers when they cover the same era.
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10/10
This show is great and it better have a movie!
I hope Sony (or anyone) makes a LK movie because that could be great.

Love this show. Felt like Dic Kids Network stopped airing this on here because of Sabrina's Secret Life. They should've kept this show. It ended too early.

And they better make this a movie. I'm gonna get them to, cause I'm gonna bring back Dic and they're gonna help me make a movie.

They probably won't, though, with the majority of people forgetting this series. It's one of those "come and go" shows. If they get put into the "show hole" then I'm gonna die of this.

This was way better than a lot of Dic shows (considerably way better than The Littles) that aired. Also I'm gonna reboot this show. It deserves to be resurrected.
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10/10
A Good Show
naf-196862 December 2015
This is a good show. I like it. The American Revolution is given a show. The characters are good. Sarah seems conflicted between her loyalty to the crown and her friendship with the Patriots which eventually leads to her siding with the Patriots. James is a reporter first and foremost, but sometimes doesn't really understand what he is writing. Henri is quite oblivious at first, but later on comes to understand the war better. Moses serves as a mentor to the three. Benjamin Franklin is just like the way he was in real life. I personally think there should be similar TV shows focused on the Civil War and WWII, as well as the Wars of the Roses, the Spanish Armada Crisis, and the Glorious Revolution in England. All in all, it was a good show. I used to watch it a lot when I was young. That's why I like it so much.
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9/10
A great way to comprehend history
krspaceT118 October 2010
Warning: Spoilers
These days, people don't pay too much attention to history? Why is that? Who knows really, but this is one way to solve it, a cartoon that can get kids hooked on history early. And no more important than getting hooked, its perhaps the most important history of all in the USA, the American Revolution.

This cartoon has all star voice actors, including Arnold Schwarzenegger, Micheal York and Dustin Hoffman.

However, just being a kid show, some elements, AKA blood and death, are toned down for viewers of young ages, however some "Higher than Barney average" language, themes like religion and slavery, and that time period related views on females, may make you think about showing this to your 8 year old.
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A wonderful show for both kids and adults
daisyozak10 July 2003
We have the PBS Kids channel through Direct TV and I started watching this show along with my son once I got bored with all the other early morning weekday cartoons. As an American history lover, I was instantly hooked. The show is a very inventive way to teach children about the history of our country and I've even learned a few things here and there. I only wish there were more shows on TV like it.
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I was somewhat incredulous..
njan24 August 2003
..when I watched this for the first time; I really don't know that it would be possible to create a more insidious piece of programming - the fact that it is shown on PBS astounds me. This show is being promoted in a user friendly format, so as to slip in the most sugary manner possible down the throats of our children; that in itself should be a bad sign, regardless of the message which the show carries as payload.

The fact is that the messages the show gives off and the stereotypes contained therein are reprehensible, and represent the very worst bigotry possible; the americans characterised are portrayed as either old and wise (franklin) or young and well-intentioned (most of the rest of the regular cast), and all of them are good, intelligent, ethical people. The british in the show (one of whom is played by Michael York, a highly talented thespian educated at oxford, fallen to such depths as 'dark planet' and this, a Patrick Stewart of poor fortune with a streak of Pearce Brosnan) are portrayed to the greatest extent possible as mean-spirited, callous, and capable of dreadful things.

The fact is, *regardless* of whether such stereotypes are true or not, such portrayal is *not* appropriate in this day in age, especially given the 'special relationship' now endured by the United States and the United Kingdom. It would be possible to make a more mindlessly anti-english, pro-american show, but this hasn't been put together mindlessly: the intention of the show is quite deliberate, and it is - as stated - to slip messages like these quietly into the supplicatory, nurturing television watching of young next-generation americans, the messages of which they will blithely and unthinkingly assimilate as parts of their own ideology.
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Great for history and entertainment.
maxvaughn13 November 2002
"Liberty's Kids" is one of the best historical family shows I've seen since "Histeria!". It has comedy, adventure, great characters, and a way to introduce the American Revolution without making it a dull textbook lesson. Okay, I have to admit that the games inbetween are a little silly, but all in all this a terrific program.
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Liberty Kids IS available!
adelenpaul10 April 2007
For those of you that love Liberty Kids as much as we do, here is some wonderful news! There is an online education streaming video provider that has 40 of the Liberty Kids episodes. There are two places to go: www.unitedstreaming.com or www.cosmeo.com. They both offer the same videos but united streaming is created more for schools/teachers and cosmeo more for home use. Cosmeo is about $10/month or $99/year. We receive this free through our state education agency and use it ALL the time! We homeschool and use the videos, Liberty Kids included, in our teaching day all the time. I highly recommend the service! (And if you're interested, they also have CyberChase, My America, Dear Diary and Royal Diaries as well. My daughter never seems to get tired of the Magic Schoolbus videos as well. I only wish they also had the Schoolhouse Rock videos. :-)
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great show
vyung19974 July 2003
i am watching this show as i'm typing this comment. it is a great show for kids of all ages. it teaches us about the history of our nation through the eyes of kids. i love this show and it's the 1st time i am watching it too.
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Awesome show
crazy_cat_freak18 April 2003
This is show is really great. I had no idea that there were so many famous people that did voices for the show. It's really informative. I've learned a lot from this show. It's spiffy. People should definitely watch this show.
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