10. Once Upon a Starfish
For the reader who’s still a little hesitant to open up to embracing adorable cartoons, we’ll start with one that’s got a little bit of an edge to it. This 2015 cartoon from Red Kite Studios manages a balance of being extremely sweet and precious but not being cloying by having the adorable character obliviously cause harm while trying to do good. It’s a great formula.
The story is that a girl, just after her birthday, sees a shooting star that looks like it’s fallen into the ocean. She goes down to the coast and sees a starfish has just washed up. She comes to the only logical conclusion: the starfish is a fallen star that she has to return to the sky. When throwing it into the air doesn’t work, she tries tying a bunch of helium balloons to it. Fortunately those burst while the starfish is still fairly low to the ground. Then the girl notices another starfish wash ashore and then return to the waters, and realizes the fish’s proper place is back in the sea. It’s such a nice story that it more than makes up for the unpolished texture work and the rather odd way the starfish looks.