The hit New Zealand kids’ TV show, Kiri and Lou, is winning awards and fans around the world and our panel of reviewers is loving it at home too. Not only is it visually beautiful and heartwarming in its messaging, it’s also a lot of fun! Immerse your child (and yourself!) in this adorable show and it will soon become a family favourite.
Handcrafted in stop-motion animation, the cute, funny stories feature Kiri, a feisty little dinosaur with huge emotions, and her best friend Lou, a gentle and thoughtful creature. They explore their feelings through singing, laughing and playing in the forest with their friends, including Pania (who’s a little ‘farty’), Sorry (a fast little animal with a confusing name), and lovable Dalvanius.
The five-minute episodes are ideal for toddlers and preschoolers to snuggle down and learn about emotions, kindness, and friendship – perfect for bedtime or quiet time. Due to its low-stimulus approach, the show has also been found to be popular among kids with neurodivergent needs and offers a calming alternative to high-energy programmes.
With production on the 100th episode just completed, seasons one, two, and three are ready to be discovered on TVNZ+, Sky Go, and Neon.
Kiri and Lou’s world
Some of New Zealand’s top creative talent are involved in the making of Kiri and Lou.
The show includes the brilliant comedy voices of Jemaine Clement, Liv Tennet, Rima Te Wiata, Jaquie Brown, Josh Thomson, and Mark Wright, as well as guest appearances from Marlon Williams, Tami Neilson, Paul Kelly, Anika Moa, and Julia Deans.
The director and writer of Kiri and Lou is the multi-talented, Harry Sinclair, who, in one of his many creative jobs, was once part of the musical duo The Front Lawn with Don McGlashan. The pair have reunited on Kiri and Lou and the catchy songs are a hit with kids and adults alike.
Discover more about Kiri and Lou from our family reviewers below.
Made with the support of NZ On Air
Review from Coralie and Addy
My daughter Addy (age 3) and I loved watching Kiri and Lou together. Each episode is a short storyline about the two learning the important lessons in life, including being kind, feelings and how it’s ok to have them, and even death!
I love the friendship that Kiri and Lou have, with the gentle messages woven throughout. The music is so beautiful, always soothing and when Kiri and Lou, or even other characters in the show sing and harmonise together it is stunning and emotive. There is some very clever humour running throughout that even Addy picks up on, and we often have a good giggle together.
One striking feature of this beautiful show is the graphics. Specifically how relaxing they are to watch. A lot of kids shows are all about bright, garish colours, loud sudden noises and adventure storylines. Kiri and Lou focuses on the simple but important details, such as how the characters are feeling, and how they treat each other. The muted colours of the forest, with lots of greens, browns and oranges are pleasing to the eye but not over-stimulating. The animation is kind of clay animation style, simple but fascinating to watch.
As a parent, I love that Kiri and Lou is soothing in tone, message and in appearance. The songs are often like a lullaby. You could easily watch it before bedtime and the kids wouldn’t get over-stimulated. My daughter Addy and I often watch a little tv after lunch when she needs a quiet time to decompress, so Kiri and Lou is perfect for this. Addy seems to find the storylines absorbing, and gets very focused on what’s happening with Kiri and Lou and all the other forest friends.
If I could guess, I would say Addy’s favourite thing in Kiri and Lou is the episode where Pania the green dinosaur looking character keeps on dropping huge farts. That gets her giggling every time!
Thank you for this opportunity, I truly think this show is so well made, and a great show to share with people, young and old.
Review from Jessica and Molly
Kiri and Lou are adorable and laugh-out-loud characters in a restful and calming preschool show. It’s relaxing yet engaging for the kids with an epic chilled-out soundtrack that any child (and parent!) will enjoy.
I watched numerous episodes with my youngest daughter Molly who is 3. We loved all the original songs that are entertaining and often beautiful and new in every episode.
Kiri and Lou engaged Molly’s attention and she often responded to them in the show. Molly also joined in the songs as they had a nice amount of repetition – not boring but appealing for children and brilliant for learning. The pace the show moves at does allow interaction from the viewer and she has laughed a lot through it. There have also been a few giggle moments for Mum too!
Kiri and Lou has a calming soundtrack and is perfect for winding down. We have had cuddles and snuggles on the couch while watching this together.
Visually it’s also really lovely to watch with beautiful paper cut backgrounds and wonderful claymation creatures. ( I really adore the eyebrows!!).
The show incorporates lovely bits of Aotearoa and Kiwiana yet will still be appealing to an overseas audience. The shows have basic themes that preschoolers will enjoy – a very simple message is central to each show, most sharing something that preschoolers can learn – eg being kind to our friends.
Molly’s favourite thing about Kiri and Lou is both the characters! She likes the songs as well 🙂
Review from Jacque and Zach
Zach, age 2, started watching Kiri and Lou on Monday afternoon, I told him I wanted him to watch a show and see if he liked it. Usually he will watch something for a few minutes and then walk away and play with something or get bored. So it would be cool to see how he reacts to Kiri and Lou.
For those that do not know Kiri is a little dinosaur that has these emotions that sometimes get the better of her, so very all over the place. And then Lou is the gentle and thoughtful and calm elephant-like creature. They are two best friends who go through everyday life where they learn to deal with their emotions and feelings.
- Day 1 – Zach was glued to the show, his little mouth wide open, absorbed in the show!
- Day 2 – Zach still was glued and started asking questions, mostly what the big dinosaur was talking about, that was really when Pania was explaining something to Kiri or Lou.
- Day 3 – Zach kept asking me to play another episode once it finished.
- Day 4 and Day 5 – Zach would start repeating what they were saying or imitate them after watching. He also spoke about Lou … he really likes Lou!
- Day 6 and 7 – Zach watched with me and his big brother Kyle, age 9, cuddled on the couch before bed. He was very relaxed and still absorbed in the show asking for another episode after each one finished. Kyle was also quite glued to the show and found the funny moments eg where his friend is named Sorry and they get all mixed up!
Zach’s favourite episodes that he asked to play again were ‘Funny Feeling’ and ‘Tickle Monster’.
I like that the episodes are only five minutes, makes it seem like they watched a few episodes but not a drain on time, especially before bed. It is also cool how they can get a little message across in that time frame. I love the use of colours and how the characters are made, how they move and speak. Simple but amazing!
I really like how they portray Kiri being the character who feels a lot and wears her heart on her sleeve, and Lou who is more relaxed and able to help Kiri navigate and accept she is perfect the way she is, how he helps her to understand why she feels like she feels at times.
I love how the message helps identify your feelings and shows you how to communicate and work through what you going through. Because even little kids like Zach go through these emotions and it was awesome how Zach would talk to me about what he saw. He would express how he identified with Kiri in one episode where she was just having an ordinary day not wanting to play, and her friends were worried she was broken. Zach says to me, “It’s ok to be ok, right?” In other words, he wanted to know it was ok to not want to play and just be still … it was great to see him asking questions, identifying with the characters and feeling what they were feeling. They really bring that across nicely.
I quite liked sitting in and watching the show as well, it was very calm and not too loud or over stimulating, but yet still exciting. I also like the messages that they bring across. We as adults even sometimes struggle with some of these.
I really see this show as a regular in our household. Zach really enjoyed watching it and engaging with it. I love that he was not once bored or distracted and how he actually sat and watched it. And positives are that it is a good message being relayed so that is beneficial 🙂
Thanks for letting Zach do the review!
Review from Hollie, Harper and Lulu
This is our review for Kiri and Lou by Harper (6) and Lulu (4).
What I like about the show as a parent is that it is gentle and it approaches real-life relateable social and emotional situations which are relevant to young tamariki. The messages are bite-sized but meaningful. We liked the graphics, although my daughters would close their eyes at the start as they didn’t like the anteaters! This led us into further discussions about what anteaters are and how they eat their kai which was a cool opportunity to link learning. I liked the use of te reo Māori but felt there was definitely space for more.
Harper’s favourite thing about the show is that when there is a problem with one of the characters then their friend will help out and there’s always a happy ending. Both girls liked the show as they love watching TV and they hardly ever get to watch it.
My feedback about the low-stimulation and sensory-sensitive approach of the show is that it’s a great show for bedtime hangouts which fits in well with our current low-stimulant calming routines. Normally I wouldn’t allow my tamariki to have TV before bedtime but this wasn’t a show which got them hyped up and I really liked the length of each episode – not too long. We would recommend Kiri and Lou to a range of whānau with young tamariki, it is a great show that is relevant to modern Aotearoa.
Review from Yasmin, Zayn and Maya
Kiri and Lou. What a refreshing and entertaining show. These 5-minute episodes (including credits) are catchy, quirky and quintessentially Kiwi. There’s even a subtle inclusion of te reo Māori words such as “ka pai”. Kiri is voiced by Olivia Tennet and Lou is voiced by Jemaine Clement.
This show is a stop motion claymation and uses paper for the scenes and backgrounds. I love the muted tones of the bright colours so they are exciting for the kids but don’t overstimulate their brains. I found the music very calming and catchy for both my 6-year-old boy, Zayn and my almost 2-year-old girl, Maya.
Kiri is a fiesty girl dinosaur who seems to get emotional a lot. Lou is the boy dinosaur and he is a bit more mellow and calm. There are some funny side characters too such as “Sorry” (Jacquie Brown) and “That’s ok don’t worry about it”.
Each episode has a ‘moral’ or a message. Kiri and Lou are best friends and we watch them navigate the complex world of interpersonal relationships. Often their arguments and disagreements mirror what children would experience, eg, He didn’t say sorry – I did! – Well I didn’t hear you. And how a situation like that could be addressed. Some themes in the show include owning up to your mistakes, speaking kindly, believing in yourself, standing up for yourself and having good manners.
Lou often finds himself in “Super sticky situations” and uses his calm inner voice to help him through them. Great modelling for my son and I’ve referred to the calm inner voice when he’s had something not go his way to help him navigate his feelings and thoughts.
Overall, our family has loved this show are we are enjoying watching it together. Sometimes as a wind down after school and before dinner, sometimes after dinner and before bedtime. Zayn is always asking for one more episode and he loves spotting the fingerprints on the clay. Maya is a huge fan of the music and will often be playing while we watch then she we will stop her play to enjoy the music. She gets up and sways her arms and body along with the music. As a parent, I feel that I can trust the show’s themes and language and I don’t mind letting the kids watch a few episodes at whatever time of day as it doesn’t seem to overwhelm their brains as some other shows do. It’s also easy to say ‘one more episode then turn the TV off’ because the episodes are so short.
I definitely recommend this show if you have young children. To be honest, I even recommend for the older children. I really enjoy watching the show myself. Catchy music, beautiful animation, great storylines and actually quite funny.