If you have daughters and you're paying even the slightest bit of attention to the world around us you probably know that there is a critical shortage of strong-willed, independent-minded female figures in the pop culture world today. We live in a society dominated by Bratz dolls, Hannah Montana-like starlets and a multi-channel "news media" dedicated to each movement, boyfriend choice and hair style of every Hollywood vixen. In America in 2008 a girl is a sex object from the moment her breasts begin to sprout...if not earlier. We truly live in troubling times.
As a father of two young ladies I often find myself searching for some glimmer of positivity in the entertainment world today and usually I find very little of it. Fortunately, I've found Jane and the Dragon, an intelligent-female-adolescent-driven program that is well-written and well-constructed. Jane and the Dragon is a funny, substantive show that any dad can feel great about letting his daughter watch.
The story starts out like many fairy tales: medieval castle, royal family, dragon, all that business but takes a sharp detour with Jane, it's title character. She is a knight-in-training, not a lady-in-waiting, and takes on the challenges thrown her way with the real-life authenticity of a 12 year old girl. She is not even close to perfect or super-confident, often needing reassurance from her buddy Dragon or the cook, a quirky girl named Pepper. The emotional blemishes give her character depth and a pathos not found in many TV characters (animated or otherwise). They also allow the audience to feel empathy for and connect with Jane.
The lessons taught in Jane and the Dragon - teamwork, friendship, courage and humility among others - are super and, even though they're being presenting through 9th century situations, can be transferred easily to 21st century life. What is refreshing is that the writers don't smash your kids over the head with the moral of each story. The tales develop naturally and each concludes in a manner that will please the audience while shining a little light on what it means to be humble, kind, brave, etc.
While the show's eight or ten recurring characters are wonderful it's the writing that's the real star of the series. Adults will love the West Wing-style of banter between Dragon, the knights and the castle's "maintenance" staff (consisting of Pepper, Smithy, the blacksmith, and Jester). The comments are almost always sparse, quick-hitting and fun and never sink to crude or dumbed-down toilet humor. Talk about refreshing! And your kids will delight in watching Dragon attempt another bad landing, breath fire while coughing and humorously threaten to turn Jane's adversaries into charcoal.
If you're looking for something unique and utterly brilliant for your little knights-in-training at home you will not find anything better in the DVD space than Jane and the Dragon: A Dragon's Tale.
Buy Jane and the Dragon: A Dragon's Tale containing 5 episodes plus some bonus material today. Or can also pre-order the next DVD in the series, Jane and the Dragon: Dragon Rules.
WATCH A FULL UNCUT JANE AND THE DRAGON EPISODE ONLINE RIGHT NOW...FOR FREE!
OutWithTheKids.com is quite pleased to be able to give away one copy of the Jane and the Dragon: A Dragon's Tale DVD. Simply leave a comment here before 11:59pm (ET) on Friday October 3rd, 2008 for your chance to win.