If you need a good pick-me-up going into this weekend, look no further than the super silly and uplifting animated kids comedy series, Harvey Street Kids. From DreamWorks Animation Television, this modern adaptation of classic Harvey Comics characters from the 1940s is available to enjoy on Netflix today, and hopefully the 13-episode season is just the first of many. Once you meet the reimagined takes on Little Audrey (Stephanie Lemelin), Little Dot (Kelly McCreary), and Little Lotta (Lauren Lapkus), they might just be your new favorite troublemaking, problem-solving trio.
Harvey Street Kids producers Brendan Hay and Aliki Theofilopoulos, who I had a chance to chat with ahead of the series’ debut, put a lot of effort into bringing the series into the modern world. Audrey, Dot, and Lotta are incredibly strong and well-developed characters whose distinct personalities come through in a way that’s reminiscent of cartoon classics like Hey Arnold!, The Powerpuff Girls, and Ed, Edd n Eddy. Audrey’s full-steam-ahead ambition, Dot’s practical and borderline obsessive knowledge with just about everything, and Lotta’s bigger-than-life personality all work super-well together in an effort to save the neighborhood from all sorts of problems, often of their own making. The core cast is supported by such talented folks as Danny Pudi, Atticus Shaffer, Grey Griffin, Roger Craig Smith, and Dee Bradley Baker, veteran names every animation fan should recognize.
Plus, in a very cool addition to the show that pays homage to 90s boy bands, the show features a hilarious creation in the girls’ favorite musical supergroup, Crush4U, a band that features cameos from iconic musicians Joey McIntryre (New Kids on the Block), Nick Lachey (98 Degrees), Joey Fatone (*NSYNC) and Shawn Stockman (Boyz II Men) who voiced and record original songs. Harvey Street Kids is worth a watch for that alone!
But there’s a lot more to Harvey Street Kids than just nostalgia. The character-driven comedy is chock full of colorful adventures and imaginative stories, like an all-out assault on the local bullies’ treehouse fort, a kids-only economy that collapses into chaos when our heroes opt to break the rules, a nighttime tale that pays homage to your favorite zombie movies, and a pet-focused story with a twist ending. Every episode feels like it was pulled directly from childhood experiences spent hanging out and growing up with other kids in the neighborhood, just turned up to levels the likes of which are only possible in animation and imagination. Even the theme song is a blast no matter how many times you hear it.
The only knock on this superfun series is that it took me a little time to get used to the lead voices, but within an episode segment or two, it’s clear the actors settled into their characters a bit more and really came to embody them.
Harvey Street Kids is a fun, breezy comedy-adventure series with a go-go pace and an action-focused tone that will make you want to be a kid again. Check it out on Netflix now!
Rating: ★★★★ Very good