Liberty’s Kids is a wonderful way to get young audiences into history. The series follows a group of youths through America’s formative years, from the days of the Revolutionary War to America’s eventual full independence. While its key audience is youths age 7 to 14, even teachers and parents will enjoy it because it does more than just focus on names and dates. Rather, it takes those names and dates, and puts them into a visual format for young eyes and minds. It obviously wasn’t going to last too long, considering that it was based on America’s younger years. But even in lasting only forty episodes, those forty episodes are still episodes that teachers and parents will want to use for more years than it took for America to go from Declaration to full independence.
The very first factor in the success of Liberty’s Kids is that it takes history out of the classroom. Though, it can be used in the classroom. Rather than just sitting at their desks, writing down notes, teachers can pop in the four discs that contain the show’s forty episodes, and use them as a way to reach their students. Parents can even use the set in their homes regardless of whether their children are home schooled or are in public school. That dual use is a major positive, especially considering what is currently happening with public schools today. It takes all the names and dates, and puts them into short half hour episodes that can be used over the course of nearly an entire school year, using one episode per week. A couple of weeks might require a couple episodes to make it fully pan out right. That at least applies for schools not on block scheduling. Children need every educational aid that they can get to get them interested in history. Because its episodes are short, and have writing that reaches its intended audiences, it already has two checks in its favor.
The ability of Liberty’s Kids to relate to its audiences through its writing and being an equally wonderful visual aid is key in the success of this short-lived children’s educational series. There is more to consider in what makes it worth more than a couple watches, though. So many of today’s children’s “cartoons” are cartoons in name only. That’s because they are brainless shows based in CGI, rather than true animation. The thing is that because so few children’s shows are hand drawn today, that when they do show up, very little thought is given to them. Liberty’s Kids is one of those rare modern cartoons that keep the art of actual art alive. Given, its style is much like that of the more modernized take on Archie. But it still manages to maintain some identity separate from that cartoon, and other Cookie Jar titles. It serves as one more reminder for today’s young audiences how much work goes into bringing hand drawn art to life on screen, and how important it is to have said style of art versus the colder, stale and soulless computer generated children’s shows that are out there today. Again, it is one more positive to this set that makes it worth more than just a couple watches. Sure, it’s a minor factor in the grand scheme of things. But it is no less important to consider in the set’s success.
The animation involved in Liberty’s Kids is a minor factor in the grand scheme of things. But it is no less important than any other factor in the show’s success. The same can be said of the guest voice talents that make appearances of sorts throughout the series. Throughout the show’s forty episodes, veteran actors such as: Dustin Hoffman, Michael Douglas, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, Billy Crystal and Whoopi Goldberg make appearances as famous historical figures from America’s infancy. One might ask how in the world veteran acting talents are important in the success of a children’s cartoon. The answer is quite simple. The inclusion of such big names will potentially influence parents to sit down and watch the show with their children. Most adults won’t admit it to themselves or others just how much they have lost since their own school days. So maybe the use of big Hollywood names will be enough to get parents interested and in turn, refresh their own knowledge of American history. The latent effect of this interest is that it could serve as a starting point for parents to discuss the actors and actresses that make appearances and their film histories both good and bad. And perhaps when those young audiences that watch Liberty’s Kids today grow up to be adults themselves, they will have an appreciation for movies that will be in their time classics. So in a roundabout manner, this is a far more important factor in the success of Liberty’s Kids than any viewer would have otherwise realized. Along with the other factors that went into bringing it to life, it’s one more factor that makes Liberty’s Kids a hit both in the classroom and the living room. And chances are, it will be for many more years to come. It is available now in stores and online and can be ordered direct via the Mill Creek Direct website at https://www.millcreekdirect.com/liberty-s-kids-the-complete-series.html.
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