Amazon Makes a Geek Girl the Focus of Annedroids

Annedroids will be available for streaming on Amazon Prime Instant Video starting Friday, July 25, 2014. Photo: Amazon Studios.

In an effort to keep up with the networks and the Netflixes, Amazon Studios has been cranking out a lot of original programming for Prime users. The media company’s latest is the children’s program, Annedroids.

I have to admit: When I first saw the promotional art for Annedroids, I had flashbacks to the late-’80s TV show, Small Wonder—and that isn’t a good thing. However, we should all know not to judge a book (or even a TV show) by its cover.

The pilot for Annedroids, which is now streaming, introduces us to Nick (Jadiel Dowlin), a new kid in town who seems to be clinging (through online gaming) to his old friend Zack. Not to worry, though; he quickly meets Shania (Adrianna Di Liello) and Anne (Addison Hollet from Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood), and the three become fast friends.

Although all three get plenty of screen time, the focus is really on Anne, a genius girl who loves to build robots. Sorry, I mean androids, but, well, yes! She’s a genius, she’s a girl, she loves robots, and she’s on a TV show. She describes herself as, “a scientist who likes studying the world.” I describe her as “awesome.”

The opening episode introduces the characters, which includes Hand, Eyes, and PAL, Anne’s three main androids. Additional episodes show the trio building a lawn-mowing robot, experimenting with chemical reactions, discussing the effects of gasses on your voice, and even talking up a lunar eclipse. There are some mishaps, but there’s also a lot of tweaking, testing, and fun.

Anne (Adrianna Di Liello) describes herself as “‘a scientist who likes studying the world” in Amazon’s Annedroids. Photo: Amazon Studios.

I’m going to have to categorize this one under “don’t try this at home.” Some of the science in Annedroids is a bit far-fetched. That said, it’s awesome that Amazon has embraced science and problem-solving with its original children’s programming. (See also: Maker Shack Agency and, to some extent, Creative Galaxy.) Not that I really mind the occasional mindless TV show, but this one is something that any GeekMom could embrace—and encourage. It also helps that it’s from J.J. Johnson, the creator of Dino Dan, which just happens to be a huge favorite in our house. I could see this becoming another. It has the same tone, the same flow, and has the same amount of interesting little factoids sprinkled throughout.

Annedroids also has very similar production values, which is a mixed bag. I’m not going to lie: PAL creeped me out a bit. He/she/it reminded me a little of the robots from I, Robot. It doesn’t really matter though, because I’m not the target audience, and to say that my 8-year-old was riveted is an understatement. At one point, I thought I was going to have to check for breathing. He absolutely loved Annedroids and was asking for more. Thankfully, seven episodes are now available for streaming through Amazon Prime Instant Video.

GeekMom received this item for review purposes.