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Netflix cleverly tries to outwit kids with 5-minute bedtime shows

netflix dinotrux five minute kids bedtime in bed
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Any parent knows what a battle it can be to get a little one to go to sleep at bedtime. You’ll hear every excuse in the book, from having to go to the bathroom, to being thirsty, hungry, or any other reason under the sun. Netflix feels your pain, so the streamer is hoping to combat the problem through a new series of five-minute Dinotrux shows designed to put your kid down for the count.

Developed in partnership with DreamWorks Animation, the episodes are full stories from the popular series Dinotrux. — except they go from start to finish in just five short minutes. The idea is, parents can promise that “one last show” before bedtime, and kids will feel satisfied having sat through an entire story, from start to credits, without realizing that only a fraction of the standard series time has passed. Pretty sneaky, huh?

Related: The Muppets settle into primetime as ABC gives full season order

Each show caters to kids’ desires to re-watch favorite scenes, focusing on the best scenes from episodes featuring the characters of Ty-Rux and Revvit. The programs are categorized under “5 Minute Favorites” on the site.

This isn’t some off the cuff idea, either — Netflix has done its homework. The company hired Ipsos Public Affairs to conduct a poll, which sampled 7,277 parents across seven countries (including the U.S. and Canada) with a child ages 2-10, from September 2-23, 2015. The poll found that, among the parents surveyed 61 percent complained about having to deal with creative bedtime stalling tactics. That adds up to valuable time lost for the adults, with the parent responsible for the bedtime routine spending upwards of 20 minutes every night to deal with the struggle and inevitable negotiations.

Some interesting tidbits from the study: Brazilian parents report that the kids’ stall tactics “frequently” work, with 52 percent of respondents saying so versus the 44 percent global average. Kids in this country are most likely to play the “just five more minutes” negotiation card, at 51 percent versus 42 percent globally.

Meanwhile, parents in Mexico are the most likely to give in and let kids stay up late, noted by 60 percent of parents versus 41 percent globally who let the little ones stay up past bedtime.

Australian and Canadian parents are the least likely to waver: parents from down under say they’re unlikely to make compromises to get their child into bed (26 percent versus 21 percent globally), while those north of the states say a child’s stall tactics likely won’t be cute or clever enough to permit staying up late (61 percent versus 51 percent globally).

And in which country do parents seem to have the toughest time? That seems to be in the good ol’ U.S. of A., where kids are most likely to try creative tactics (66 percent versus 61 percent average globally). Because of this, American parents spend upwards of 19.3 minutes getting the kids to bed every night. This is likely the target group for Netflix, which counts a majority of its streamers in the U.S.

That said, universally, 87 percent of parents say the last snuggle is one of the most special parts of their day. With Netflix’s involvement now, hopefully kids will drift off into dreamland much quicker as visions of dinosaur hybrids dance in their heads.

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Christine Persaud
Christine has decades of experience in trade and consumer journalism. While she started her career writing exclusively about…
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