Watch Kids' Reviews of
CULTUREVERSE

What to know: "Cultureverse" is an immersive audio drama that celebrates our collective cultural past.
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
Recommended age 8-15
15 minutes
Web Series
PRX
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Cultureverse is a unique educational podcast with hosts we all love - actresses Yara Shahidi and Kelley-Marie Tran! Kids will appreciate its high production quality and immersive plot lines.

Each episode of this podcast delves deep into a unique cultural tradition or concept, such as the Czech golems or the Dangsan Tree of South Korea. The podcast teaches these concepts using a simple, but effective storyline - a child learns more about their culture through a real-world scenario (for example, bullying during online classes). For example, one of the episodes centers around Cholito de Suerte, a magical, luck-giving creature in Mexican folklore. A young girl is in the process of rebranding her musical persona and really wants some cool sunglasses. One day, she finds the Cholito de Suerte in her locker, and she remembers that her grandmother said the Cholito is generous and kind to all those who take care of it. After she gives the Cholito food, it spits out lots of coins and she's able to buy her sunglasses (and more) with the money. This cycle continues for a while until the secret of her Cholito is betrayed, after which a unique lesson is taught. The show is based on a beautiful idea and is executed very well.

Cultureverse has no set cast except for the hosts Yara Shahidi and Kelley-Marie Tran. There's a new child voice actor in each episode. The script doesn't differ much between the two hosts; it's natural and maintains a good pace throughout the 20 to 25 minute duration. I really enjoyed Tran's narration a bit more, but since the stories in each episode have such sustained, contained momentum powered by the child voice actors and plotline, it doesn't make much of a difference who is hosting.

Cultureverse promotes cultural appreciation as opposed to cultural appropriation. It encourages kids to learn about different cultures, even providing them with some further reading at the end of each episode.

I give Cultureverse 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18. Cultureverse is available now online at https://www.trax.fm/cultureverse. Go check it out!

By Eshaan M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

With a hint of culture and lots of interesting stories, the podcast Cultureverse is a great way to learn more about stories from the past in a fun way. Even though these stories from the past have been modernized to entertain children, some of the plots get a little random and off-topic. However, that doesn't stop this podcast from being a great way to educate your child about different heritages.

Hosted by Kelly Marie Tran and Yara Shahidi, Cultureverse takes myths and legends from different cultures, adds fictional modern characters and a new storyline, which make them more interesting and understandable. Kids will enjoy the exciting characters and the fascinating creatures.

The voice acting and sound effects in this podcast are so extravagant and over-the-top that it feels like the sounds are coming out of the screen and into your room. It's definitely a very creative concept for a podcast, especially because it makes kids want to learn and keep listening. This would be a good added tool in a classroom for a history lesson because, while it sounds like a normal fantasy book, it still keeps the key parts of the original stories or myths. It could also be used at a heritage day or a multicultural festival as added content.

This podcast's message is to keep culture alive through stories, as they are the foundation of our heritage and we should not let them be forgotten.

I give Cultureverse 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 12. Cultureverse is available now online at https://www.trax.fm/cultureverse

By Kendall B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 10

I genuinely enjoyed the podcast, Cultureverse and the way it uses different myths and legends to make new and interesting stories.

Cultureverse is an immersive audio drama celebrating our collective cultural past. It is hosted by two hosts, Kelly Marie Tran and Yara Shahidi that share lots of different stories about various people going through a multitude of myths and legends. In each episode, a modern day kid encounters a creature, myth or folk character from their culture and embarks on an exciting journey of self-discovery. There are nine episodes available now including The Dangsan Tree, The Water Drabon, Dagda's Harp and more.

A lot of the stories are Chinese or Vietnamese origin. It's amazing how this podcast fabricates these stories using only words, music and sound effects - without any visuals. They are all so engaging with lots of cool things, starting with the voices. All the voice-over actors really excel at portraying their characters. At the end of each episode we learn the names of the voice-over actors. We also learn more about the original myth or legend that each story is based on. On example is the water dragon story, in which David and his sister try to save the town from the drought. This is based on the Chinese legend of the water dragon where a boy saves his town from a drought and gets turned into the water dragon. This is just one example of the many stories featured on the podcast. My favorite part is how the host tells each story with emotion and passion.

The message of this podcast is about how so many things are still influenced by old myths and legends.

I give Cultureverse 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages for 6 to 18, plus adults. Cultureverse is available now online at https://www.trax.fm/cultureverse

By Avalon N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

Are you looking for a new podcast with amazing acting and hosting, creative stories and cultural values? Listen to Cultureverse, a brand new podcast created for tweens and teens to be entertained by fantastical adventures and educated about many cultures. Co-hosted by Kelly Marie Tran and Yara Shahidi, Cultureverse is a must-listen epic-adventure podcast.

Each episode of the podcast features a new character, a new background and a new cultural adventure. The short introduction lets viewers know more about the character and their desires; then Cultureverse dives into the magical adventure. One of my favorite episodes is The Watermelon Prince. Based on a Vietnamese folktale, Mia (Vicky Win) is sucked into a world of magic through none other than a talking watermelon. In the universe of this folktale, Mia meets herself, but as a different person. When she returns from her adventure, she feels as if she's found another part of herself.

Cultureverse is a podcast with many positive aspects. The hosts are warm, welcoming and educational in their pre-story and post-story talks. They are also very talented narrators that make the stories more interesting and enjoyable. All the voice-actors are great; they make each story more fun while creating a vivid picture for the audience. The plot is another strong point. Each episode starts off realistic, so I'm stuck in the mind of a character when the fantastical elements start. It helps that normal kids experience these crazy cultural adventures. If the characters were superheroes or other fantasy creatures, it wouldn't be as relatable. This podcast is a great way to introduce a variety of cultural myths and folktales.

The message of Cultureverse is to learn and explore other cultures' traditions. This theme is clearly conveyed in each and every episode. It's great that passing on these positive messages is a top priority for this podcast.

I give Cultureverse 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 14. You can find Cultureverse on Trax at ahttps://www.trax.fm/cultureverse.

By Kyla C, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 12

see youth comments
"Cultureverse" is an immersive audio drama that celebrates our collective cultural past. It is a place where myths and legends come alive in the modern world. In each episode, an ordinary kid encounters an extraordinary creature, myth, or folk character from their culture, embarking on an exciting journey of self-discovery. "Cultureverse" isn't just an audio adventure, it's a show that celebrates who we are, and where we come from.
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