Generator Rex

Common Sense Media says

Thoughtful sci-fi cartoon with monsters is best for tweens.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The show has good messages for tweens about cooperation, respect for differences, and positive self-image. Rex has a tough time defining himself without a memory of his past, but his friends help him to balance his personal and professional lives.

Positive role models

Rex struggles to balance the opposing forces in his life: first, his desire to uncover the mysteries of his past and be a normal teen, and second, his sense of responsibility to help Providence rid the world of evil E.V.O.s. At times he lets his ego and personal motivations lead him into trouble, but when push comes to shove, he always makes the right choice.

Violence

The Providence team uses guns, swords, knives, and hand-to-hand violence against the monstrous E.V.O.s, but their goal is always to disarm the nanites’ control over the human victims they’ve enslaved rather than to kill. Lasers and massive explosions sometimes cause extensive damage to buildings, but no people are shown injured by them. 

Sex

Rex often flirts with his attractive caretaker, Doctor Holiday, making insinuating comments like, “My bios spike every time I see you.” Leggy female characters are shown in skimpy bikinis.

Language

Occasional use of “butt,” but nothing stronger. 

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this sci-fi/adventure cartoon is better suited for tweens than it is for kids due to a good deal of violence (guns, knives, and large explosions, for instance) with little real-world consequence and plenty of monsters of all shapes and sizes. What’s more, the intricacies of Rex’s struggles with his own identity and good decision-making are too weighty for kids to grasp. That said, the show is a rare find for tweens, blending a mature storyline about a teen’s inner battle between his sense of responsibility and his very different personal desires with an enticing plot of mystery and adventure.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

In a recent global accident, Earth was infected by microscopic machines called nanites, which link with humans’ DNA and can turn their hosts into dangerous monsters. Rex (voiced by Daryl Sabara) was no exception, but inexplicably this remarkable 15-year-old amnesiac is able to control his nanites and transform his body at will, making him the secret weapon in the Providence agency’s battle against the mutant creatures, called Exponentially Variegated Organisms, or E.V.O.s for short. Together with his Providence team – Dr. Holiday (Grey DeLisle), Agent Six (Wally Kurth), and his chimpanzee friend, Bobo Haha (John DiMaggio) – and “regular” pal, Noah (Fred Savage), Rex must stare down evil in all forms while he searches for the truth to his past.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

If your tweens (especially boys) think they’re too old for cartoons, GENERATOR REX is up to the challenge of changing their minds. This enjoyable show is full of adventure in an ongoing battle of good vs. evil, and the subplot surrounding Rex’s questions about his past is a dangling-carrot mystery that will retain the interest of this more mature audience. True, much of the cartoon is doused in violent exchanges between Rex and a host of mutants, but even here the show’s thoughtfulness is apparent, as rather than killing the monsters, Rex uses his powers to restore their humanity.

This content is all well and good for the tween set, but it’s the very stuff that makes this an iffy choice for younger kids. An ever-changing cast of monsters, recurring villains with truly evil intentions, inner struggles with emotion, and an uncertain self-image may raise more questions than answers for youngsters, so better save this one until the littlest ones have gone to bed.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can discuss responsibility. Can you relate to Rex’s frustration over having responsibility thrust upon him? How does he cope with the pressure? What responsibilities weigh heaviest on you? What coping techniques do you use to manage? 

  • Parents and tweens can talk about violence on TV. Tweens: What did you think about the violence in this show? Would you say there was too much of it, or was it OK? Did you find it realistic? Do you think it was intended to be realistic? What standards do you think should exist for violence on TV?   

  • Tweens: How would you define “self-image?” How is your self-image influenced by people around you? Do you fall victim to the media’s messages about who you should be? If so, which ones affect you most? Why is it sometimes difficult to have a strong self-image? 

TV details

This review of Generator Rex was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 13 years old Written bygamer guy 554 June 2, 2010
AGE
10
QUALITY
 
Parent of a 9 and 13 year old Written byKeishamama June 14, 2010
AGE
9
QUALITY
 

Good for tweens, a little scary for younger kids

Very fun show for my kids. Full of excitement and adventure but monsters might be too scary to younger kids. My 9-year-old loves it.

What other families should know
Great role models
Teen, 17 years old Written byASDFGHJKL02251 May 21, 2011
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

BEST SHOW EVER I'VE SEEN EVERY EPISODE NEW

What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models

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