Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Mack &  Moxy

Mack & Moxy

Spring 2016 Television
Ages: 3 - 7 yrs.
Producer: Mack & Moxy LLC
Rating: TV G

Many children's programs today tout character education but Mack & Moxy zeros in on the core value of compassion and doing charitable deeds. Each 13-minute episode combines puppetry, 3D animation, live action characters, and music to tell stories that were developed with content partners from recognized non-profit groups. According to the program's website, those partners include The American Red Cross, the World Wildlife Fund, Save the Children, The President's Council on Fitness, the American Heart Association, and Easter Seals, among many others. Episode themes range from raising hunger awareness to understanding autism, recycling, building healthy fitness habits, and saving the tiger.

The main characters here are Mack, a blue moose, and Moxy, a feisty magenta fox-like character. Together these friends model lessons of humanitarianism in a fantasy place called Helpee Land.

Each story follows the same general format: Mack and Moxy start off in a live-action sequence for a little banter but then they discover that a "Helpee" is in need of rescue before evil antagonist Shellfish Sheldon finds it. A child plays the role of "Trooper" and they all enlist the aid of an "Admirable" - a grownup who appears throughout the story to help summarize core values and moral take-aways - played by different guest actors, including celebrity chef Rachel Ray, model/actress Eva LaRue, and actor Josh Duhamel.) The adventure in Helpee Land transitions from live-action to 3D-animted sequences where conflicts are resolved through acts of kindness, empathy, and cooperation. Each program returns to the "space ship" studio prompting a segment that summarizes the importance of that episode's theme. Each concludes with Mack and Moxy prompting preschool viewers to ask their parents or caregivers to visit their website to learn more about helping out on the issue, too.

A Friend Who Reads is a Friend Indeed, emphasizes the importance of early childhood education. The Mack and Moxy team reads to a lonely creature, demonstrating the how important it is to play with and read to young children. In Feeding Rainbow, hunger awareness is the issue and the team helps a hungry character by taking him to a food pantry where the Trooper explains how it works and who it helps.

The sets and puppetry are bright and stories progress with straightforward plots that stay on message. The execution sometimes feels forced, making it seem more like curriculum than a program but uptempo music, occasional corny jokes, and commendable comic performances by the "Admirables" provide enough entertainment value to keep viewers interestred.

Gina Catanzarite   ©2016 Parents' Choice
Gina Catanzarite is an award-winning television producer, writer, teacher, mom and media consultant in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She began her career in 1987 and counts 9 Emmy awards, 26 Emmy nominations, a Matrix award, two Pennsylvania Broadcaster's Association Awards, 8 Telly Awards, and a screenwriting grant from the Theatre Association of Pennsylvania, among her professional honors.

Look for this product at:
Mack & Moxy LLC

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