Young viewers will learn (and laugh) watching Nickelodeon's new ''Tak and the Power of Juju.'' Plus: a new season of ''Arthur''

By Eileen Clarke
Updated September 03, 2007 at 04:00 AM EDT

Some (tribal) counsel on Nick’s new show


Tak and the Power of Juju
Premieres Friday, Aug. 31 at 8 p.m. ET/PT; Nickelodeon
Regular time slot: Sundays at 10 a.m. ET/PT

There are all sorts of reasons why the teenage jungle-boy hero of Nick’s new CG-animated TV series will win over the little hearts of young boys. Like the fact that this character first appeared in a videogame. And that while Tak may look like a weakling, he, in fact, has special powers — and uses them to help fellow members of his Pupununu tribe (whose name, I confess, brings on ripples of un-motherlike laughter.)

In one episode, Tak’s special abilities — usually possessed by 177-year-old shamans — comes in handy while rescuing the Pupununu (see?) from chicken-mad Woodie creatures bent on destroying their village. More importantly, it helps him teach a lesson to the blustery and egomaniacal Lok (expertly voiced — or yelled — by Patrick Warburton). And parents will like that Tak (voiced by Hal Sparks of Talk Soup fame), in his need to be noticed, has several lapses in judgment that must be addressed before learns from them and corrects the damage done. B+
Recommended ages: 6-11

PBS Kids Go!; Check local listings
Now entering its 11th season, Arthur is still able to capture the worries of an 8-year-old male, balancing the demands of school, friends, and a completely overbearing sister. And while the spotlight also shines on other Marc Brown characters (Binky goes with his parents to China when they adopt a baby girl; Francine and George make an unlikely pair in dance class, but just may waltz off with a prize in a local competition), it is Arthur himself who shines in an episode that has Matt Damon challenging the residents of Elwood City residents to submit homemade videos for his TV show. The same program kicks off a similar but real-life initiative in which budding young filmmakers can submit a ”Postcard From You,” for possible inclusion in a future broadcast or online (visit for details). B+
Recommended ages: 5 and up