Charlie’s Colorform City

Ages: 3 - 7Producer: Netflix/Scholastic/9 Story Media Group/Brown Bag Films Rating: TV Y - All Children

Remember those colorful vinyl cut-outs called Colorforms?  This old-school toy gets a modern-day makeover in Charlie’s Colorforms City, an animated Netflix original series that gives kids a jump-start on geometry concepts.  Charlie is the perfect little guy to teach kids about shapes and sizes, (and colors, too) because this animated character is inspired by Colorforms silhouettes. 

Each episode includes two separate stories.  Plots are determined by Charlie’s imagination as he comes up with an original tale, and then viewers see it play out. In Charlie is Super, Charlie dreams of being a superhero . . . and he gets a chance to put his super skills to the test when villains makes off with his pet Klunk.

In Adventurer Charlie, Charlie wants to find out what’s at the other end of the Colorforms City rainbow but his friends have to find a way to face their fears of the unknown.  The quest also includes practice at patterns as Charlie prompts viewers to figure out what comes next in a sequence of shapes to build a bridge.

And, in Knight Charlie, a medieval plotline follows Charlie as he chases a runaway hot air balloon, encountering common challenges (i.e. dragons!) medieval knights usually face.

Parents (and grands) nostalgic for this toy of their youth will probably enjoy watching the series with their kids.  The Colorforms device allows for plenty of fun visual gimmicks, and overall, it’s a pleasant mixed bag of educational content, social and emotional learning, imagination, and preschool-ready skills.


Gina Catanzarite ©2020 Parents’ Choice

Gina Catanzarite is an award-winning television producer, writer, teacher, mom and media consultant in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She began her career in 1987 and counts 14 Emmy® awards, 37 Emmy® nominations, a Matrix award, 3 Golden Quill awards, 2 Pennsylvania Broadcaster’s Association Awards, 8 Telly Awards, and a screenwriting grant from the Theatre Association of Pennsylvania, among her professional honors.