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Family Fun

Children’s television has embraced diverse and inclusive storytelling with lead LGBTQ+ characters. For example, during the last five years, Doc McStuffins featured a biracial, two-women household; My Little Pony introduced the gay couple Aunt Holiday and Auntie Lofty; and Hasbro gave a gender-neutral name to one of its most popular products, Potato Head. The Paley Center is pleased to focus on several contemporary programs that are carrying on this rich tradition. 



The Owl House

As part of the Paley Center's Pride Month celebration, we have partnered with Disney Channel to bring you a sneak peek of episodes 1 and 2 of season two of the Peabody Award–nominated animated series The Owl House for a home screening. (Please note: tickets are no longer available for this home screening.)

Disney Channel’s animated series The Owl House follows Luz, a self-assured teenage girl who stumbles upon a portal to a magical realm where she befriends a rebellious witch, Eda, and a tiny warrior, King. Despite not having magical abilities, Luz pursues her dream of becoming a witch by serving as Eda's apprentice at the Owl House and ultimately finds a new family in an unlikely setting. The series features LGBTQ-inclusive storytelling, which portrays an inclusive, fair, accurate, and age-appropriate world through the representation of its characters.

Enjoy these coloring sheets!

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Family Home Screening

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Coloring My Little Pony

Since 1986 the My Little Pony franchise has had several incarnations on television. In 2019, the very popular My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic introduced the gay couple Aunt Holiday and Auntie Lofty who cared for a young pony Scootaloo.

Enjoy these coloring sheets!

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Storytime

In 2020, Billie Jean King is the first special guest on Storytime with Brad Meltzer and recounts her amazing career as tennis legend and social justice crusader.

What We're Watching: Pride Month

In honor of The Paley Center for Media’s celebration of Pride, the Paley resource guide “What We’re Watching” will spotlight some of our favorite LGBTQ+ stories.

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Coming Out

We cannot overstate the importance of seeing oneself reflected widely in mainstream media. Luckily, new coming-of-age narratives, like the ones in our recommendations this week, have finally begun to include LGBTQ+ representation. Let’s push for a future where no kid has to ask, “Why can’t I see myself?”

RECOMMENDATION FOR YOUNGER VIEWERS

Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts: “Ratland” (2020)


Season 1, Episode 6 

Recommended for Grades 3+

Available to stream on Netflix

This isn’t the first time we’re recommending an episode of Kipo, which I guess goes to show how much we like it! In this episode, friends Kipo and Benson find out more about each other.

Viewing Questions

  • How would you describe the characters Kipo, Benson, and Wolf? What characteristics do you notice for each of them?
  • What problem are they trying to solve? Where does the clue lead the group?
  • What do you notice about Kipo and Benson’s relationship?
  • What does Benson tell Kipo? How does Kipo respond? What does this tell you about their friendship?
  • Why do you think it’s important to see stories like this on TV?

Extension Activity

Make Your Own Comic!
Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts actually started out as a web comic! Try your hand at visual storytelling by writing and drawing your own original comic!

 

RECOMMENDATION FOR OLDER VIEWERS

One Day at a Time (2017)

Season 1
Recommended for Grades 9+
Available to stream on Netflix

One Day at a Time, a remake of the classic Norman Lear sitcom of the same name, spends the first season introducing us to a close-knit Cuban-American family and dealing with relevant issues like mental illness, immigration, sexism, racism, and homophobia. It also acts as a coming out story for Elena, the teen daughter.

Viewing Questions

  • What do you notice about all of the family members? How do they treat each other? How do they talk to each other?
  • How would you describe Elena? What do you notice about her?
  • How does Elena handle coming out to her family and friends? How does each family member react? What is different about the reactions? What is the same?
  • What feels most true to life? How does it make you feel when you watch this story unfold over multiple episodes?
  • What are your takeaways from this story? Why is it important to see stories like this on TV?


 

Extension Activity

Check out this excellent resource!

The Trevor Project Support Center: Coming Out

What We're Watching: Pride Month

What Is Family?

These programs explore nontraditional family structures. Family can be defined in many ways because each one is unique. Some children have only one parent, some have two mothers or two fathers, and some kids have no biological parents at all. Talking openly and honestly about how families and humans are different is important. We encourage everyone to celebrate what makes their families special to them!


RECOMMENDATION FOR YOUNGER VIEWERS

The Bravest Knight: “Cedric and the Troll” (2019)

Recommended for Grades K+
Available to stream on Hulu

The Bravest Knight is a show about a young pumpkin farmer named Cedric, now grown and married to the prince of his dreams. Cedric's lifelong quest to fulfill his destiny of becoming a knight takes him through a world of witches and giants, and ends with teaching his adopted daughter Nia to do the same. In this episode, Nia learns the proper ways to attempt a tower rescue, as Sir Cedric recounts the first time he met his troll friend, Grunt, and escaped the clutches of a tricky witch.

Viewing Questions

  • Who are the members of Nia’s family? What does she call each of her fathers?
  • What is her dad, Cedric, training her to become?
  • What does he try to teach her in this episode?
  • What story does he tell her as a lesson in tower rescues?
  • Who does Cedric meet in this story and what problem do they have to solve?
  • How do they escape the witch’s pit?
  • What lesson does Nia learn in the end?

Extension Activities


RECOMMENDATION FOR OLDER VIEWERS

The Fosters: “Pilot” (2013)

Recommended for Grades 8+
Available to stream on Hulu/Prime

This show is about a family with a mix of foster and biological kids being raised by two moms. Stef Foster, a dedicated police officer, and her partner, Lena Adams, a school Vice Principal, have built a strong family with Stef's biological son from a previous marriage, Brandon, and their adopted twins, Mariana and Jesus.

Viewing Questions

  • What do we learn about Callie at the beginning of this episode? What happens that changes Lena’s mind about taking her into their home?
  • When Callie arrives at the Fosters’ home how does she behave towards everyone?
  • Describe the family structure of the Foster family. What rude comments does Callie make about it?
  • How does each member of the family respond to Callie’s behavior despite being offended?
  • What more do we learn about Callie over the course of the episode?
  • How is she reunited with her brother?
  • How does this show expand the definition of family for viewers?

Photos—Kipo: Netflix; One Day at a Time: Netflix; The Bravest Knight: Hulu; The Fosters: Freeform

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