Angelina Ballerina has always been one of our family's favorite cartoons. I love it because Angelina loves to dance ballet. The Pea loves it because Angelina is a true girly-girl and proud of it. 3Po and Jammy love it because they get a kick out of little cousin Henry's antics. Alfie loves it because all the characters have lovely English accents; it's the one cartoon he would let our kids watch all day long in the hopes that they'll pick the accents up!
Last year Angelina Ballerina underwent a transformation, moving to CG animation, introducing new dance steps and incorporating a whole new storyline. It's still based on Katharine Holabird's Angelina Ballerina books, of course, but it's a whole new re-imagined series called Angelina Ballerina The Next Steps. Angelina still dreams of becoming a prima ballerina, but she's at a new school, has a new dance teacher, new friends, and new dances to learn.
What do I think of Angelina Ballerina The Next Steps? I'm usually not a fan of cartoon character makeovers (Dora the Explorer, the Care Bears, and the latest Strawberry Shortcake), and have to admit I miss the classic look (and sound -- I wish they had kept all the English accents!) of the original animated series.
But there's a lot to love about the new Angelina. For one thing, the characters do a lot more dancing, and they've incorporated many different styles of dance like tap, jazz, ethnic and hip-hop. I think they do a great job of introducing young children to all the different ways people can express themselves through dance, and it's a big improvement from the older series. I love that the producers work with consultants from the American Ballet Theater and Alvin Ailey to make sure the dance moves are genuine and age-appropriate. It's like a So You Think You Can Dance for preschoolers! Also, unlike the other cartoon characters I mentioned earlier, Angelina hasn't been hoochie-sized; she's still a little girl and she looks pretty much like the old Angelina. Most importantly, Angelina's optimism, her sweet, caring nature and her irrepressible spirit shines through as ever. So I give Angelina Ballerina The Next Steps a big thumbs up!
Win an Angelina Ballerina Book book
One lucky Bonggamom Finds reader will win an Angelina Ballerina book! Angelina at the Palace is Katharine Holabird's 13th Angelina book and tells the story of the mouse ballerina's adventures when she is invited to dance at the Royal Palace in Mouseland. It's filled with Helen Craig's delightful, whimsical illustrations and a great read for any young ballerina.
(and stay tuned for a second Angelina Ballerina giveaway -- I'll be giving away some cute tshirts in a couple of days!)
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8) Enter the Angelina Ballerina tshirt giveaway (going live on June 3, 1 entry).
This giveaway ends at midnight PST on June 20, 2010; I will draw a winner at random on June 21 and post the winner's name after the winner confirms acceptance. For additional giveaway rules, click here. Good luck!
Disclosure: I did not receive a sample or monetary compensation for this post. Unless clearly stated, the views and opinions expressed here are my own.