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

Harvey Beaks

Harvey Beaks

Spring 2017 Television
Ages: 6 - 11 yrs.
Producer: Nickelodeon
Rating: TV Y7

Lots of bird-brained ideas get explored in Harvey Beaks. Yes, it's a bad pun but this animated series centers on the exploits of 10-year-old bird Harvey Beaks and his best friends Fee and Foo in their forest home of Littlebark Grove. Harvey Beaks aired for two season on Nickelodeon before ending in November 2016.

The Beaks family are expressed through off-beat animation, in keeping with some of the off-beat humor, shrill line-readings, and over-the-top plotlines. Each half-hour episode includes two separate stories. In "Mr. & Mrs. Borks," a trip down memory lane reveals a typo on the Beaks' marriage license. They decide to get re-married and Best Man Harvey takes his responsibilities seriously. Enlisting Fee and Foo, Harvey and friends plan bachelor and bachelorette parties, resulting in celebrations that include the stereotypical traditions as interpreted by little kids. In the episode titled "Alone," it's every kid's nightmare: Harvey's in the mood to play but his friends and family are busy, leaving him to entertain himself. Alas, the activities he tries, from board games to see-saws, require multiple players. During a walk through the forest, a stack of gourds presents a chance for Harvey to exercise his imagination. He decorates the gourds with faces and he and his new gourd-pals engage in some fun activities … but, alas, again, gourds really aren't made for skateboarding and baseball, leading to a day spent delivering tongue-in-cheek eulogies. And, in "The Punishment," Harvey breaks one of his mom's favorite plates and even though she's not mad enough to issue a punishment, Harvey is wracked with guilt so he wracks his brain to come up with a punishment big enough to clear his conscience, enlisting his eccentric friends for suggestions.

When trying to describe Harvey Beaks, Zany, wacky, and weird are among the first adjectives you're likely to land on. It's not high culture but then again it never tries to be. Instead, it is unapologetically kind of silly, kind of odd, and, actually, kind of funny for young elementary-aged kids looking for some offbeat entertainment. For all their oddball behaviors, these birds really are a loving family and the rambunctious antics of Harvey, Fee, and Foo are worth a few smiles and laughs along the way.

Gina Catanzarite   ©2017 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.

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