Parents can safely send their kids to the Lovely Little Farm.
With justification, many parents and caregivers are concerned about the content available on streaming services.
But there are gems to be found, and, with the availability of parental controls, separate user profiles and supervision, families can take advantage of them.
One such gem is Lovely Little Farm, launched on June 10 on AppleTV+. I've seen seven of the episodes, but it appears there is at least one more to come.
The British-produced Lovely Little Farm is the creation of BAFTA Award-winners Maddy Darrall, Billy Macqueen and Catherine Williams (Teletubbies, Topsy & Tim, Waffle the Wonder Dog).
Centered on a colorful family farm nestled among lavender fields somewhere in the British countryside, it blends live-action, CGI (with some help from Industrial Light & Magic, aka ILM); and puppetry to tell the stories of loving sisters Jill (Levi Howden) and Jacky (Kassdi Roberts).
They live with their parents, pregnant mom Jenna (Cicely Giddings), dad Jonas (Micah Balfour), nearby grandfather Jamma (Barry McCarthy), and a menagerie of animals.
The real animals are primarily goats, chickens, sheep and a dog. And then there are the talking animals: duckling Quackety Duck Duck (Shirley Henderson) blends live-action and CGI; while Al Alpaca (Joel Fry) and Pickle Pony (Dominique Moore) are full-size puppets.
With the arrival of a new baby imminent, Jill must banish her animal friends from her room to the barn to make room for sister Jacky.
Over the course of the episodes, the sisters deal with animal emergencies (nothing scary, though), farming chores and family life.
Also, a very large, very shiny golden egg shows up. It's a bit of a mystery, but no one seems concerned by it (and, considering the gentle tone of the show, that's probably the correct response).
Cinematographer and mom Oona Menges floods each episode with warm light, dancing with dust motes and bits of straw.
Lovely Little Farm overflows with sweetness and charm, but realism isn't always at the forefront. Producers did consult with Dr. Gail Melson, a leader in the field of Human-Animal interaction and former Professor Emerita in the Department of Human Development & Family Studies at Purdue University.
She's credited as an executive producer, but we never see Jill mucking out stalls or dealing with the really messy or difficult aspects of farm life and animal husbandry.
While it's great to see Jill and her sister interacting with farm animals without fear, parents will still need to talk to kids about how to approach and care for animals in real life.
I've watched all the available episodes of Lovely Little Farm, and I have no content red flags to report. It's simply a delight.
And, if it does well, AppleTV+ may be encouraged to do more of the same.
Kate O’Hare, a longtime entertainment journalist, is Social Media Content Manager at Family Theater Productions.