The Friar (Kids’ Show on EWTN)

I’m pretty sure they’ve run this show on EWTN before, but I’ve never actually watched it.

As with a lot of Catholic kids’ shows on EWTN, it’s apparently a redubbed Spanish or Italian TV show. The format is that “Friar John” is an adult host interacting with a puppet child, frog, and mouse to explain Bible stories. First they set up a frame story. Then the Bible story itself is presented as a puppet story with independent characters and sets. Then the friar discusses the Bible study with the kid and animal puppets, which leads into more frame story. Then there’s a “music box” with a picture recapping the Bible story, followed by a song recapping the Bible story with a cartoon video. Then there’s more frame story, following the theme of the Bible story. (In the episode I saw, this included Marian prayer. Prayer and action were shown to interact.) Then there’s a saint story, presented with painted slideshow pictures, which also relates to the Bible story. Then the framing story is resolved happily. Finally, they recap the story puppets and song with new verses, with the friar and the puppets singing along. (Recaps are good for kids’ memory.) In the episode I saw, the story puppets even show up in the “real world” of the framing story, singing through the window of the friar’s house.

The episode I saw was about the Good Shepherd, and was apparently the pilot episode. It was strikingly done. First off, most retellings don’t talk about the sheep’s motivations for wandering off! Second, most don’t show a sheepfold keeping the other 99 sheep safe. (Or one of the safe sheep suggesting that the Shepherd not go after such a bad sheep as the straying one.) Third, most don’t assume that the wolf was engaged in a deeplaid plot to catch and eat the sheep through both deception and undermining the sheep’s faith in the shepherd. Fourth, most retellings don’t end with a life or death puppet struggle between the Good Shepherd and the bad wolf! (“Take that! And that!”) But all this goes along with various sheep/shepherd stories and verses in the NT, and was also full of charming details. The song video did more of the same. They even included and explained a statue of Mary as a shepherdess, helping find lost sheep (very popular in Spain).

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22 Comments

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22 responses to “The Friar (Kids’ Show on EWTN)

  1. Pingback: The Friar (Kids' Show on EWTN) « Aliens in This World | Bible Study Lessons Aggregator

  2. Glad you like “The Friar”, I’m involved with the English voiceover work, I’m a bit biased but I think it’s a great show. I think we are on number 12 now, and they get better as they go along. Valivan, who produce it, is a family business with amazing talent, based in Spain.

  3. Dave Haynes

    My children love the Friar but we have only been able to see 6 of them on EWTN. Does anyone know how to get a DVD (English version). I have emailed Vaivan but they just refered me back to EWTN who have not responded to my email on this.

  4. Bridget

    My children (2 and 3) adore this show and we only can get them on DVD (don’t pay for TV). They learn so much and my husband and I are re-centered in our faith as well. Such an incredible blessing! I really like the songs, too!

  5. I started a blog about being the voice of Leopold

    http://leopoldthefrog.wordpress.com/

    • Dave Haynes

      It is shown on EWTN at various times through the year, but sadly they only seem to show 6 of the 12(?) episodes.
      Dave Haynes

  6. Marie

    I love love love this show. Does EWTN even still show it? Does Vavilian still produce more episodes? I hope it hasn’t ended.

    • Hi Marie, yes Valivan is still producing them, slowly. Number 11 was finished a couple of months ago, the next should be along soon. They originally planned 13 episodes I think, and are hoping to do more.

      Leopold

      • Marie

        Oh I am so glad to hear this. You do such a wonderful job, Leopold is one of our family’s favorite characters, in large part due to his adorable voice! Keep up the good work!

  7. Dave

    Does anyone know where I can get a copy of the song they sing in one of the episodes “IF you choose to build your house without God”? Thanks

  8. Lindsay

    I’m 21 and I love this show, its so cute!

  9. Mark & Anne

    I’ve seen the Wedding Feast on EWTN. Please don’t let this be the last one! My little children love this show! They don’t call it “The Friar” they call it “Leopold”. There aren’t too many shows we allow our children to watch; this is one of the very few. Please don’t stop making them!!!

    • Leopold (me) has been busy recording the first of 5 new short episodes, this one is for Christmas, I think you will like it!

      • Mark & Anne

        We did enjoy the Christmas one and we saw a new episode aired today on the workers in the field. I was so glad it was a full half hour! If you can, please tell the family that makes these not to stop!! Thank you!

  10. My children watch this and absolutely love it.. I will be honest at first i thought they might not show interest in it, basing this on other things they watch, but to my shock, they absolutely love it all.. Any time it plays on EWTN, I have ir recording on my DVR.. I love watching it with my kids.. Thank you so much for what you do.. It is great!!!!!!!!!!!

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