If you’ve seen The Lion King, and maybe you’re enjoying a summer stay-cation this week, I have some wonderful recommendations for you to watch on Amazon Prime and Netflix starring dinosaurs, mermaids, and a tween who doesn’t want to grow up–Dino Dina, Twelve Forever, and Mako Mermaid!
Dino Dana (live action)
If your children love dinosaurs, then they are in for a treat with Dino Dana. The third season is just out. Your future paleontologist will enjoy this series in which the intrepid young Dana conducts experiments and solves questions about dinosaurs through the power of her imagination. Dana sees the dinos thanks to a magical dinosaur experiment book. This was a gift from her local librarian–Trek from the previous Dino Dan series.
The dino technology has improved dramatically since the first series came out ten years ago. I give this show an A+ for being family friendly and appealing to kids of all ages. It’s nice that it features a diverse blended family and a protagonist that celebrates girl power. Streaming on Amazon Prime.
Twelve Forever (animated)
It took me a little while to get into the first episode of Twelve Forever, because it is weird. It’s different than any other show for tween girls streaming today, and that’s why you and your daughters should watch it! Julia Vickerman has worked as an animator on Yo Gabba Gabba! and as a writer on The Power Puff Girls. The former’s mix of crazy fun weirdness mixed with the latter’s anime influence and girl power kick — out of Julia’s head exploded Twelve Forever.
It’s been in the works for years, and it is a labor of love. It has a very dry and witty sense of humor with the frenetic pace of My Little Pony–and tweens love that.
In Twelve Forever Reggie turns twelve, and her mom is pushing her too hard to grow up. Reggie doesn’t want to, and so she escapes with her friends into the fantasy world of Endless, where the strange inhabitants adore her. Recommended for 10 and up.
Mako Mermaid (live action)
If mermaids are your child’s speed, then check out the cute Australian series Mako Mermaid. My daughter and I binge watched this show together. It’s a Nickelodeon production that premiered in 2013 and ended after about four seasons. In it three mermaids are exiled from their mermaid community known as the “pod.” The reason: they accidentally caused a high school student–a “land boy”–to become a merman (mer-teen?), endangering their island home of Mako. The mermaids will have to go on dry land, and to high school, to try to reverse the mer-teen’s powers.
The mermaid trio can be a tad catty with each other at times, but friendship always prevails. There are amusing comic situations arising from their magic, especially the fact that the girls turn back into mermaids every time water splashes them, always at the most inconvenient times. And speaking of those tails, some amazing artistry went into them. They look incredibly real. I think this is okay for six and up. Streaming on Netflix.