All Grown Up
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that the show makes slight fun of parenting styles, from the would-be perfect parent (abreast of child psychology and serving "steamed spinach on a bed of chilled spinach" for dinner) to the career parent (emotionally uninvolved but concerned with which extracurricular activities will grace her child's college applications). Other than that, there is really no objectionable material.
What's the story?
As the phenomenally successful Rugrats series winds down, ALL GROWN UP steps in to take its place. So what happens when the Rugrats go to middle school? Angelica writes for the school paper, Susie's a singing sensation, Kimi goes punk, Chuckie takes more chances, and Tommy (now with hair!) makes movies. The twins Phil and Lil also remain major characters. Tommy's little brother Dil, a new baby in the original series, now has a wild and crazy personality of his own, and by no means hides in the shadows of his big brother.
Is it any good?
The characters remain endearing, but situations aren't quite as hilarious as in the original series. Rugrats built episodes out of the babies' radical misinterpretations of the adult world. The stories in All Grown Up are thoughtfully crafted but less satiric, focusing on more standard preteen fare such as handling the emotions of jealousy and embarrassment, becoming an individual, and experiencing a first crush. Kids who grew up with Rugrats will enjoy seeing these familiar characters deal with middle school. Real middle-schoolers, though, are likely to find the cartoon too juvenile. The parents are often oblivious to their kids' struggles and antics, but family members generally value and respect each other and sibling relationships are especially positive.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about whether the parents on the show seem realistic. Is it obvious when exaggeration is used for comic effect? How are real parents different from the ones in the show?