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TUTTLE TWINS Creator Daniel Harmon: Freedom Is Being ‘Lost From Schools’

Photo via Angel Studios

TUTTLE TWINS Creator Daniel Harmon: Freedom Is Being ‘Lost From Schools’

By Movieguide® Contributor

TUTTLE TWINS creator Daniel Harmon recently discussed the importance of making family-friendly content, which is his drive behind the Angel series, TUTTLE TWINS.

The show is based on a series of books that “teaches kids about principles of freedom and economics,” Harmon said. 

“We’re taking those principles and that foundation and turning it into a cartoon that hopefully kids want to watch over their options on Netflix, YouTube, and the like,” he continued. 

When asked about why he chose to make the book series into a show, Harmon gave a very personal reason. 

“What drew me to it is I’m a lover of freedom,” he explained. “And I have seven kids, and I want to teach them principles of freedom, because I feel like a lot of that is being lost from schools and from culture in general.

“We think of it as a kind of mixture between the fun of a series like PHINEAS AND FERB, and the educational value and family-friendliness of something like THE MAGIC SCHOOL BUS,” Harmon said. 

“Obviously there’s a market for parents that are really thirsting after resources to be able to teach their kids these principles of freedom in economics,” Harmon concluded. 

Watch Harmon’s full interview here.

According to the Movieguide® review: 

TUTTLE TWINS is an Angel Studios-produced TV series starring Natalie Madsen, Jonny Vance, Alex Hall, and William Lucas and is available on YouTube. The show was created by Daniel Harmon and is an adaptation of the book series of the same name. The show centers around Hispanic twins, Emily and Ethan, who go on adventures through time and dimensions to learn about economics, politics, civics, and principles of leading a good life with Gabby, their grandma.  

This show has a mixed worldview with strong Biblical overtones. There are a few references to Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, and other religions. In one episode, the kids learn from Mother Teresa, and her Christian virtues are upheld. Forgiveness and generosity are big in this show, as Ethan and Emily forgive Karinne and try to befriend her even though she is difficult. One of the historical figures the twins meet is Mahatma Gandhi, who promotes the Christian value of forgiveness.  

However, when he tells them about the Golden Rule, he spontaneously does yoga poses, and with no hesitation, the kids do poses with him. It distracts from what he is trying to say. There is another time when Ethan does yoga on the side while another activity goes on. The show promotes a just form of capitalism, as well as discussing socialism and communism and repudiating them. Family is upheld, with the twins’ parents being supportive and fairly smart rather than stupid. However, sometimes the moral content and actions taken by characters in the show undermines the effectiveness of the show’s positive worldview elements.  

While the show features fresh civics education and generally upholds virtues such as responsibility and freedom, it has a substantial dose of morally distracting humor. Few of these jokes are necessary to the story, such as a reference to nudity about a man in a kilt. Infrequent language includes at least one d-word and profanities using the word “holy” in combination with other words. There are many crude references, light sexual jokes or references, and violent thoughts in some moments of the show. Violence includes crashes and explosions but no on-screen blood or deaths. However, a burning wig flies past a window, implying off-screen deaths. 

Overall, the show is good quality children’s civics and economics education, although with some unneeded, unpleasant elements in poor taste distracting from the story and detracting its quality. As with all media for children, one should question how it is forming minds and hearts. MOVIEGUIDE advises that discernment is required for older children.