Slugterra

Common Sense Media says

Action, comedy, super-slugs, and great messages 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

Educational value

The show intends to entertain rather than to educate, but there are some positive messages about friendship, standing up for your beliefs, and treating others with respect.

Positive messages

The story centers on an ongoing battle between good and evil, where evil seeks to enslave the residents of Slugterra and good (a.k.a., Eli) hopes to free them. Both sides are clearly defined, and the villains' actions are so decidedly bad that kids will root for the right side. There are themes of self-confidence, standing up to bullies, and problem-solving throughout the story, and it's always clear that a person's size or appearance isn't the only factor in his success. There's some bully-type behavior and some name-calling, but Eli always manages to overcome it because of his strong sense of right and wrong.

Positive role models

Eli has high standards for himself, and he doesn't fall victim to people's assumptions about his abilities because of how he looks. He's smart, clever, and willing to ask for help from friends, and he fights to defend the smallest (and seemingly least significant) residents of Slugterra. Each of his friends has unique talents he/she brings to the team, and it's only by working together that they can hope to overturn the villain's claim to Slugterra. A female slinger is critical to Eli's team.

Violence & scariness

The characters use blasters that shoot slug-filled ammo at each other. As the slugs accelerate through the air, they morph into beasts who battle each other and people with unique characteristics like fire and electric shock. A villain hoards slugs and turns them into ghoulish creatures in a scary-looking lab.

Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language

"Butt," plus some name-calling like "jerk" and "worthless."

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Slugterra is better than most adventure cartoons marketed toward tweens, and boys in particular. Its hero is an often-overlooked underdog who relies on cleverness and quick thinking to hold his own against bigger, brawnier opponents, and he surrounds himself with a crew whose loyalty overshadows any thirst for battle. It's a little disconcerting that the players' ammunition are capsules that hold slugs -- many of whom have names and personalities, which endears them to viewers -- but the fact that the hero and his friends show them respect and care stands in contradiction to how most of the villains treat their slugs. The storyline surrounding the main character's attempts to fill his deceased father's shoes is a good jumping-off point for talking with tweens about your expectations of them and theirs for themselves.

Parents say

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Kids say

What's the story?

Following his father's death, 15-year-old Eli Shane (voiced by Sam Vincent) embraces his destiny to follow in his dad's footsteps to a secret, subterranean world called SLUGTERRA. Filled with caverns and populated by a colorful array of characters, Slugterra is also home to the sport of Slugslinging, whose players duel using slug-filled capsules they shoot from guns. As the slugs reach top speed, they transform into larger creatures with superhero powers, which they unleash on their opponents. At the end of each face-off, the winner claims the loser's slug, thereby accumulating an arsenal of varied weapons. But friendly matches are few and far between in a place where the nefarious Dr. Blakk (Mark Oliver) has his sights set on domination, and he mutates the slugs he captures to that end. It's up to Eli and his fiercely loyal crew to save Slugterra from the terrible fate Dr. Blakk has in store for it.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Action, adventure, comedy, sci-fi, and (would you believe it?) cute little slugs crash head-on in this impressive cartoon about an unlikely hero who manages to stay true to his morals in a world where corruption and brute force threaten to rule the day. Eli is an average Joe who has no allusions about his heroic role, despite how those who knew his legendary father receive him in Slugterra. What he does have is a rag-tag team of loyalists and a whole lot of self-confidence, and he needs every last ounce of it to face lifelong Slingers three times his size. It's not hard to relate Eli's situation to a real-life one your kids can appreciate, and the hero's ability to find vulnerability in his opponents' games can remind your youngsters that even bullies can have their weaknesses.

Yes, there's a good deal of violence in this show, and at first glance, the incorporation of the living, breathing slugs as weapon fodder gives thoughtful viewers pause. But there's some good to come even from this aspect of the plot, as Eli's compassion for the creatures sets him apart from his foes and most especially from Dr. Blakk, who treats his slugs as lab rats. Ultimately, the message kids get from this show concerns finding a cause worth defending, but not letting the fighting process strip you of your morals. Fight the good fight for the right reasons, choose your friends with care, and stick up for the little guy. All in all, not a bad set of take-aways from a highly entertaining cartoon.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about dealing with bullies. What makes some kids bullies? How do they use their physical appearance to intimidate? What are some good coping techniques for dealing with bullies?

  • Tweens: What causes do you believe in strongly? How do these causes reflect your personal interests? How can you use technology to learn about these causes? What can you and your family do to help fight for these and other good works?

  • Do you think of anyone in real life as a villain? How do their actions hurt others? What do they gain from the process? Whom do you see standing up to them and to what degree of success?

TV details

This review of Slugterra 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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Kid, 10 years old February 24, 2013
AGE
5
QUALITY
 

good show

i absolutely love this show but some episodes i will not recommend some episodes .

What other families should know
Great messages

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