Stream El Deafo and take a sensory journey to empathyville [Apple TV+ review]

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Enter the magically ordinary world of El Deafo
Enter the magically ordinary world of El Deafo.
Photo: Apple TV+

Apple TV+’s newest animated kids show is all about accessibility. El Deafo, based on the book by Cece Bell, focuses on a little girl who loses her hearing just before the start of school. She goes on misadventures as she learns to navigate the world with the help of her imaginary superhero alter ego. And she learns to love herself in the process.

The show is, if anything, a little too effective at making you feel for this young girl’s struggles. El Deafo is at times too affecting and sad for words — much to the credit of the writer, performers and animators. But it’s an open question whether kids are ready to feel so much on top of everything they’re already dealing with.