I’ve heard more than one parent complain about the lack of wholesome entertainment options for their kids to watch. Minno may be what they're looking for.
There are plenty of neutral, un-harmful cartoon shows for toddlers and young kids out there. But sometimes even letting your kids watch those can be tricky if you do streaming services, between inappropriate commercials popping up, or the baby stealing the remote and turning on something that begins, “For mature audiences only. Viewer discretion advised” (I speak from experience on both accounts).
So to me, the idea of a faith-based children’s streaming service sounds like a stroke of genius. Minno (formerly branded as JellyTelly) is one company’s attempt to meet this very real need for families.
Click here for the homepage.
What does Minno have?
Thirty episodes of Veggie Tales, for one, plus an additional six episodes of Silly Songs with Larry (Larry is the Veggie Tales cucumber, in case you didn’t know).
Apart from the Veggie Tales fare, there aren’t any other widely recognized shows. But there are a lot of options that should be pretty appealing to kids, including:
- Monster Truck Adventures, about a group of, you guessed it, monster trucks who learn moral and Biblical lessons in everyday life.
- 321 Penguins, about penguin figurines who come to life and travel through the world and outer space while learning moral and Biblical lessons.
- The cleverly named Owlegories, about some student owls who have adventures and learn about God (this one has some bright colors and songs that my one-year-old particularly appreciated).
- Friends and Heroes, about friends who travel the ancient world learning about the stories of the Old and New Testaments.
Minno has a couple of drawbacks
For one, this is a nondenominational Christian company. The shows I sampled seemed to stick to broad Christian themes that can appeal to most Christians, but there’s definitely a possibility that there could be some Protestant-specific teachings on there.
My best guess is that, if there are any teachings that don’t fit with Catholic doctrine, it would only be broad areas that aren’t super obvious for kids. It definitely doesn’t seem like a company that goes into the nitty-gritty of Christian teachings (nor does it seem to lean toward open hostility toward Catholicism or anything like that).
Apart from doctrinal concerns, there are a couple of practical things I’m not that crazy about. In the Minno app for Roku, it’s a little difficult to navigate. I wasn’t able to figure out how to read the show descriptions on there (though it’s easy enough on the website using a computer).
And it’s also a little tricky on the app to figure out how to go back to finish a show you’ve watched part of already, rather than have it skip to the next episode.
Also, some of the animation and writing is a bit cheesy, but I mostly give that a pass when it comes to kids’ shows.
Minno is a pretty great concept
I definitely think there is a real need for more wholesome entertainment options for kids, and putting Christian lessons in there before they’re old enough to balk at cheesiness or preachiness isn’t a bad idea.
A Minno monthly subscription costs $6.99 per month (or $69.99 per year). So a lot cheaper than Netflix, or a dollar more per month than Hulu with ads (and seriously, who wants ads when your kids are watching?).
It may not be perfect, but Minno is certainly a decent option for kids’ entertainment.