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

History and Heritage

History and Heritage

Spring 2013 Television
Ages: 5 & Up
Producer: Nickelodeon
Rating: TV Y

Nickelodeon presents this series of animated segments, each about a minute in length, celebrating the achievements of notable Americans from diverse ethnic backgrounds. The short segments, which are designed to play between regularly scheduled programs, are well-produced and present fascinating subject matter in an artistic and uncluttered way.

The lead-ins to each segment get right to the point. For example: "Nickelodeon celebrates American Indians who've done great things. Meet John Herrington, a Chickasaw astronaut…" and "Nickelodeon celebrates American Indians who've done great things. Meet Betty Mae Jumper, a Seminole chief…"

The writing is spare and clean, so content will stick with even preschool aged viewers. Each segment introduces the person; provides some background information about that person as a child; explains how he or she prepared for a career; summarizes that person's achievements; and even provides another nugget or two of interesting and inspirational information.

Segments conclude with an end-tag directing viewers to a Nick Jr. website. We were disappointed to see that the site didn't offer any additional print or video elements about the subject matter. Instead, it simply replays the segment after showing two pre-roll promotions for other Nickelodeon programs, and viewers do not have the option to skip those promos.

Nevertheless, as stand-alone segments, Nickelodeon's History and Heritage episodes offer important and high-quality content packaged in just the right way to make an impact on young viewers.

Gina Catanzarite   ©2013 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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