Beast Legends

TV review by
Will Wade, Common Sense Media
Beast Legends TV Poster Image
Entertaining series seeks origins of legendary monsters.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

The show promotes the idea that a little imagination -- combined with some zoology and real creatures -- goes a long way toward understanding how legends can be created.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The team's open-minded researchers are able to think beyond limits to imagine what might be.

Violence

Some monsters are seen attacking their prey in CGI simulations. Though it’s obviously not real, some of the images are pretty intimidating and can get somewhat gory.

Sex
Language

A few words need to be bleeped. Otherwise, mostly along the lines of “scary as hell.”

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this reality series examines the origins of some of the most fearsome creatures of legend, from the Wildman to the Kraken. Though some of the CGI simulations can get pretty intense (and even a bit gory) and there's some bleeped language, overall it's age-appropriate for older tweens who don't spook easily. Kids might even learn some basic zoology as the show's team of researchers tries to determine how real creatures might have spawned the legends.

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What's the story?

Dragons aren’t real, are they? Or the fearsome sea creature, the Kraken? What about the griffin? Of course not. Well, then where did all the stories come from? BEAST LEGENDS tries to answer that question, dispatching a team of researchers to study the old tales, pore over ancient artwork for clues, and examine real animals that might have helped spawn some terrifying accounts (with the help of a healthy dose of exaggeration). The Kraken, for example could have been based on real sailors’ encounters with giant squid. After determining how the fantasies might have evolved, the team tries to design their own version of the monsters: They start with real creatures and then let their imaginations go to work, but they always base their new beasts on something that just might actually be possible, if only... The resulting computer animation sequences have an extra edge because they almost seem possible.

Is it any good?

Beast Legends is an entertaining blend of science and fantasy. By grounding their research in history, zoology, and natural science, the team provides a very believable launching pad for the evolution of a legend. Not only does it make their own fictional CGI creation seem possible, it also shines a light on the ancient cultures that spawned the original myths.

Older tweens will enjoy watching this show (really, who wouldn’t like seeing some very smart people trying to design the best monster they can?), and they'll also pick up some interesting lessons in sociology, anthropology, anatomy, physics and art.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about myths and legends. How do you think some of the best-known monster stories were originally created? Do you think they might be true, or based on truth?

  • How do you think ancient legends and myths fit into the beliefs of people who lacked a modern understanding of science?

TV details

  • Premiere date: September 9, 2010
  • Network: Syfy
  • Genre: Reality TV
  • TV rating: NR
  • Available on: DVD, Streaming

For kids who love myths and monsters

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