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10 Canadian Kids Shows That Don't Actually Suck

There is life beyond Caillou. We promise.

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In the 80s and early 90s, Canadian children's shows were all about adult characters and weirdly terrifying puppets.

Odd? Maybe. But it TOTALLY WORKED.

Odd? Maybe. But it TOTALLY WORKED.

And today? THIS.


BUT. There is good news. Because there's more to Canadian kids' TV than a bald, whiny preschooler.

Here are some shows that won't have you pouring yourself a caesar at 8:30 on a Saturday morning.

Or maybe just enjoy them with a caesar. Either way. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

1. The Backyardigans

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Yes, it's computer animated BUT the animals are actually pretty cute. This show is chock full of imagination and — here's the kicker — the "kids" play OUTSIDE. In the backyard. By themselves.

Free-range parenting or, you know, parenting in any other decade. It's good stuff.

2. The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That!

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Anything Dr. Seuss is pretty much guaranteed to be a winner, and this hand-drawn cartoon doesn't disappoint. Educational and brimming with a bit of whimsy. You might find yourself watching Sally, Nick, and the Cat's adventures even after your kids leave the room.

3. George Shrinks

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Yup, okay, you do need to get past the fact that this poor kid is the size of field mouse, but his size necessitates inventive thinking. It's a great thing for kids to dream up ingenious solutions to everyday problems, whether it's fighting off giant grasshoppers or finding a way to commandeer your brother's scooter. Right?

4. Justin Time

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If you have little explorers on your hands, you'll love Justin Time. Justin travels through time and around the world and each new setting helps him work through a problem he faces back home. The animation is attractive and the lessons are totally relatable to young viewers.

5. Mike The Knight

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You'll love the the fantastical element of this one. Mike's best friends are a witch and two dragons. DRAGONS. He may not be a great knight yet, but that just leaves a lot of room for learning! Yay learning!

6. Harry and His Bucket Full of Dinosaurs

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Dinosaurs are fun. Pretending is fun. Pretending to go to Dino World is SO. MUCH. FUN. And sometimes that's all a kids show really needs to be.

7. Franklin and Friends

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The computer animation borders on cringe-worthy when you know what the lovely original Franklin looked like, but he's still our favourite turtle nonetheless. Educational and cute, Franklin and his friends are a always a good bet.

8. Stella and Sam

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Again, these kids go outside! To have adventures! In the great outdoors! Using—gasp—their imaginations. No iPads in sight.

9. Babar and The Adventures of Badou

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So... Babar has a grandson. Yep, we'll just let that sink in.

Recovered yet?

Although it's another casualty of the computer animation epidemic, this reincarnation of royal elephants is pretty solid. Your kids can enjoy while you succumb to waves of nostalgia.

10. The Adventures of Napkin Man

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A great mix of live-action and animation, The Adventures of Napkin Man uses creativity to guide kids through overwhelming emotions facing its preschool characters.

Bonus: Murdoch Mystery crossover fans will recognize Mr. Anthony played by Yannick Bisson!

They may not have Polkaroo or Casey, but at least these shows won't force you to watch tantrums on screen. Because there are enough of those in real life, right? / Via

Smh. Where's the Clamato juice?