A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Aaahh!!! Real Monsters is a '90s cartoon from the creators of Rugrats about a class of young monsters learning how to scare humans, but they're far funnier than they are scary, so none but the youngest kids should be affected by their antics. There are wacky predicaments, which kids will love, and a fair amount of potty humor (monsters in the toilets, removable body parts, that sort of thing), which they will really love. This is a very loud show, thanks to a lot of yelling between the characters, and its frantic pace isn't for every kid, but those who do watch will see some pleasant examples of friendship among the main characters.
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What's the story?
Hidden below a city dump lies Monster Academy, a school for creatures training to scare humans. The story focuses on three monsters -- shy Ickis (Charles Adler), stinky Krumm (David Eccles), and resourceful Oblina (Christine Cavanaugh) -- following their progress in the art of spooking as they head to the surface to try new tactics on unsuspecting people. Their work is monitored by their grumpy teacher, The Gromble (Gregg Berger), who also keeps tabs on the Pool of Elders, the source of monsters' life force which ebbs and flows as the monsters' success at scaring people fluctuates.
Is it any good?
AAAHH!!! REAL MONSTERS is a story about creatures who pop out of closets, emerge from toilets, and otherwise startle the people they target. On the surface, this concept can be frightening to kids, but the show's animation style coupled with the jovial characters makes sure that their fans won't be fearful for long.
Because it's told from the point of view of the young monsters, there's a lot of absurd and gross-out humor (one of the main characters uses his intense body odor as a weapon, for instance) designed to please kids, but adults will also appreciate the creative, off-beat content and menagerie of characters. Very young viewers may not make the distinction between reality and fantasy regarding the concept of monsters, but those who can will find this series a fun departure from real life.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about whether this show is scary. Are any of the characters particularly intimidating to you? If so, what makes them frightening? Is it their appearance or their mannerisms?
Kids: How are Ickis and his friends similar to you and your peers? What do they think of school? Their teacher? What can we learn from cartoon characters like them?
Families can talk about how diversity is portrayed in the show. How do the characters' differences make them a good team? Does each one get a chance to be the star at some point? What unique traits do you think are your best?
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