Saturday Morning Cartoons Just Got Way Cooler

Representation in kids television is often just as hard as finding representation in kids books.  However, with the demands are modern lives, it is difficult to avoid turning to the television on a rainy day or when you just need fifteen minutes to take a shower. Here are 7 shows that will take your kids around the world and back in your living room!

1. Bino and Fino

Bino and Fino is a cartoon aimed at three to five year olds, about a brother and sister who live with their grandparents in an unnamed African city.

“I said I’m not going do African folk tales, animals — that’s what you get in (animated movie) ‘Madagascar’ — we don’t want to do that,” Creator Adamu Waziri said to CNN.
“We want to show a couple of kids in a middle class life, which I know isn’t the reality of all the kids in Africa, but let’s show that reality — the reality of people using laptops, phones, going to school, doing their daily business — no talking ants, no dancing ‘jinga jinga’ music — just a cartoon of life.”
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2. Chhota Bheem

According to Wikipedia, Chhota Bheem is “an Indian animated comedy-adventure series. First premiered in 2008 on Pogo TV, it focuses on adventures of a boy named Bheem and his friends in the fictional kingdom of Dholakpur. In this series Bheem and his friends are usually involved in protecting Raja (Hindi for King) Indravarma of Dholakpur to save the kingdom from various evil forces. Sometimes they are seen helping other kingdoms as well. It is one of the most popular animated series for children of India.”
Full episodes are available on YouTube!  The show is in Hindi but as with most kids shows, I found my kids were engaged by the exciting animation and the universally awesome theme song (seriously, listen to it once and you will be singing it for the rest of the day).
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3. Burka Avenger

According to Wikipedia, “Burka Avenger is set in the fictional town of Halwapur in northern Pakistan. It features a superheroine who wears a burka as a disguise to conceal her identity while fighting villains. Her alter ego is Jiya, an “inspirational teacher”at an all-girls’ school. Jiya fights corrupt politicians and vengeful mercenaries who attempt to shut down girls’ schools, using “Takht Kabadi”, a martial art that involves throwing books and pens. Together with children ‘Ashu’, ‘Immu’ and ‘Mooli’, the Burka Avenger fights the evil magician ‘Baba Bandook’, his henchmen and corrupt politician ‘Vadero Pajero’.”

This awesome show is in Urdu but has English subtitles.

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4. Sara Solves It 

Sara Solves It was a “musical animated series on Amazon Prime that follows 9-year-old whiz kid Sara and younger brother Sam as they solve mysteries in their apartment building, at school, and beyond — employing math, music, and creative thinking.”

The good news is mini-episodes are available on YouTube. The bad news, the show didn’t get picked up.  The bright side: if your kids are anything like ours, if they like something, they can watch the same thing over and over… and over again.

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5. Maya and Miguel

According to Wikipedia, “[t]he show chronicles the adventures, and sometimes misadventures, of fraternal twins Maya and Miguel Santos and features their family, friends and a diverse neighborhood. This show centers on Maya’s well-intentioned meddling in her family and friends’ lives, ultimately creating new quandaries to fix. Their mother is from Mexico, and their father is from Puerto Rico. The underlying message is the importance of doing good for the family and community, and the philosophy that shared happiness is greater than personal gain. The show presents a positive, culturally rich portrayal of Latino family, language and cultures. In some markets, each episode ends with Maya announcing, “Here’s what some of our friends are up to,” introducing clips of children engaging and interacting in ways consistent with the show’s themes. Maya concludes episodes by exhorting viewers to “visit your local library like ‘Maya & Miguel.'”

Episodes and games featuring Maya and Miguel are available on PBS Kids.

 

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6. Home Adventures with Tip and Oh

My 9 year old says its “funny, cool and happy (like never really sad, unlike the movie).”

There you have it.

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7. Project Mc2

If your kids are a little older, Netflix pulls another win with this diverse all girl team!

According to Wikipedia, “the series revolves around the fields of STEAM and the adventures of McKeyla McAlister and her friends, who work for an organization called NOV8 (pronounced “innovate”), a highly secretive group of female operatives that are trying to protect the world.”

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About The Author

Faye McCray is anMcCray_AuthorPhoto (1) attorney by day and writer all the time. Her work has been featured on My Brown Baby, AfroPunk, AfroNews, For HarrietMadame NoireBlack Girl NerdsBlack and Married with Kids, and other popular publications.  Faye also has a number of short stories and a full length novel available for purchase on Amazon.  Most importantly, Faye is a proud wife and mother to three beautiful and talented young boys who she is fiercely passionate about raising.

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