| Cult of Mac

Apple TV+ plans to pack holiday season with kids-and-family specials


Apple Original special “The Velveteen Rabbit,” debuts on November 22.
Apple Original special The Velveteen Rabbit debuts on November 22.
Photo: Apple TV+

Apple TV+ set a slate of kids-and-family specials Tuesday for the upcoming holiday season, including the new Apple Original special The Velveteen Rabbit, based on Margery Williams’ beloved children’s book, on November 22.

But that’s not all. New holiday-themed episodes from series The Snoopy Show, Frog and Toad and Shape Island premiere December 1. And a special New Year’s Eve-themed episode of Sago Mini Friends comes out December 22.

Some Peanuts classics will stream for free, too — you don’t need to subscribe to Apple TV+ to see the classic Charlie Brown shows for Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Introvert Marcie takes center stage in new Peanuts trailer


You remember Marcie, don't you? She's the smart, quiet one.
You remember Marcie, don't you? She's the smart, quiet one.
Photo: Apple

“Sometimes, the people who make the biggest difference aren’t the ones who grab the spotlight,” Apple TV+ said Wednesday, when it dropped a trailer for a new Peanuts special focusing on the introverted character Marcie and all the behind-the-scenes work she does.

Snoopy Presents: One-of-a-Kind Marcie premieres Friday, August 18.

Frog and Toad faithfully adapts the classic book series [Apple TV+ review] ★★★★★


Episode 2. Toad (voiced by Kevin Michael Richardson) and Frog (voiced by Nat Faxon) in ★★★★★
A delightful children's book series comes to life in Frog and Toad.
Image: Apple TV+

TV+ ReviewNew Apple TV+ children’s show Frog and Toad, based on the classic book series by Arnold Lobel about two amphibious friends, is smartly and simply animated in the style of the Caldecott Award-winning author.

Frog and Toad is a real gem — a welcome inclusion in the Apple TV+ lineup, and an honorable adaptation of a classic.

Jane’s flights of fantasy will excite budding brainiacs [Apple TV+ review] ★★★★


Episode 6. Mason Blomberg and Ava Louise Murchison in ★★★★
Jane and her sidekicks head off for another animal-themed adventure.
Photo: Apple TV+

TV+ ReviewNew Apple TV+ children’s show Jane has zoology, ecology, biology and conservation on the brain. In the series, which premiered today, a young animal lover and devotee of famous primatologist Jane Goodall goes on adventures of the mind with dozens of animal companions in a chance to better understand the natural world.

It’s a charming and informational afternoon daydream — with resources aplenty and a heart that’s in the right place.

Charming animation and solid life lessons make Eva the Owlet a winner [Apple TV+ review] ★★★


Episode 4. Eva (voiced by Vivienne Rutherford) in ★★★
Bird's the word in new Apple TV+ animated show Eva the Owlet.
Image: Apple TV+

TV+ ReviewNew Apple TV+ children’s show Eva the Owlet is a typically cute entry into the streaming service’s very respectable collection of kiddie fare. Eva and her friends, her family and her pet bat, Baxter, get into one misadventure after another in the little village of Treetopington.

The animated show, which premiered Friday, is about creative problem-solving and making room in your heart for everyone. Memorably animated and earnestly performed, this one’s an easy recommendation for kids.

If Pretzel and the Puppies doesn’t charm you, you’re probably dead [Apple TV+ review] ★★★☆☆


Puppy Puck (voiced by Max Mitchell) in a scene from season two of ★★★☆☆
Cute pooches and wholesome lessons. What's not to like about Pretzel and the Puppies?
Image: Apple TV+

TV+ ReviewPretzel and the Puppies, the adorable Apple TV+ kids’ show about a family of dachshunds and their gentle misadventures in their hometown of Muttgomery, returns for a second season today.

Created by relative newcomer Kim Howitt and veteran Steven Altiere (Scooby-Doo!, Dinotrux), this show serves up low-stakes lessons of acceptance and perseverance —  everything that needs to be reinforced during a child’s formative years. Plus, it’s got cute dogs animated with care. Nobody with a heart can say no to this charming animated series.

Pinecone & Pony will whisk kids off on whimsical adventures [Apple TV+ review] ★★★★☆


A still from Pinecone & Pony shows the animated stars of the whimsical Apple TV+ kids show.★★★★☆
What a pair!
Image: Apple TV+

TV+ ReviewMarvelous Apple TV+ children’s show Pinecone & Pony returns for an energetic second season this week. The animated show, based on the popular book by writer and cartoonist Kate Beaton, centers on a hero-in-training in a world based on Viking lore and Lord of the Rings-style fantasy.

The series continues to combine cute animation and vocal performances with good-natured social lessons. It’s a winning and whimsical escape for kids and adults should also have a very nice time indeed.

Eva the Owlet and Frog and Toad lead slate of fresh Apple TV+ kids shows


Take off with 'Eva the Owlet' on Apple TV+
Eva the Owlet is part of a wave of fresh children's programming headed for Apple TV+.
Photo: Apple TV+

Apple TV+ has a trio of new children’s shows coming this spring. There’s Eva the Owlet and Frog and Toad, plus Jane, inspired by the work of primatologist Jane Goodall.

And that’s not all. Apple’s streaming service already has many shows for children, and several of these will get new seasons soon. Apple is also bringing back A Charlie Brown Valentine in February.

Shape Island squares the circle: It’s stop-motion perfection for kids and parents [Apple TV+ review] ★★★★★


Circle, Square and Triangle from stop-motion animation show ★★★★★
Minor problems deliver major entertainment in excellent new stop-motion animation series Shape Island. on Apple TV+.
Image: Apple TV+

TV+ ReviewShape Island arrives on Apple TV+ today to teach kids about social interactions and to help them ward off the anxiety inherent in such things. Based on the critically acclaimed books by illustrator Jon Klassen and author Mac Barnett, this charming stop-motion show is as cute as it is thoughtful — a good way to make kids laugh while slyly making them learn.

This is one of the first Apple TV+ kids’ shows with enough joyous anarchy for parents as well as children.