WINNER: HANDY MANNY, DISNEY CHANNEL
Crisp animation and lovable characters make Handy Manny a delight to watch, and the show’s smart life lessons about persevering amid challenges and fixing the seemingly unfixable — well, Disney has once again struck the perfect balance between entertainment and learning. In addition, the show’s young viewers get a taste of Latin culture, along with subtle messages about community, the importance of helping neighbors and, of course, approaching life’s little snafus with a smile and a determination to fix whatever’s broken. Let’s face it: It’s hard not to like a show with talking tools. Our favorite is the dim-witted hammer and the tape measure with a natural obsession to measure everything and quickly announce its dimensions to the world. Overall, Handy Manny hits the mark and uses animation to highlight poignant scripts that teach kids some important life lessons.
Phineas & Ferb, Disney Channel: The theme song tells us that Phineas and Ferb are "gonna do it all," and that’s pretty much the premise of this entertaining romp in defeating summer boredom — and annoying your older sister. Maybe this says something about the mental maturity of the editors here at CableFAX, but we find ourselves laughing right along with the kids.
Great and Telling Tales with Timothy Dickinson: Rasputin, History Channel: What a bizarre and interesting premise: Sit eccentric and delightfully disheveled raconteur Timothy Dickinson in a chair and let him elucidate on history’s most interesting incidents — using uniquely creative animation to illustrate his tale. Classic. And we’re not talking about his suit or hairstyle.