Bottersnikes & Gumbles

TV review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Bottersnikes & Gumbles TV Poster Image
Beautifully animated book adaptation has positive messages.

Parents say

age 5+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

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

Educational Value

Some reminders about the importance of telling the truth and asking for help when it's needed.

Positive Messages

The series juxtaposes characters who personify the best qualities and those who showcase the worst. In the Gumbles' world, cooperation, industriousness, and companionship are essential to happiness, but the Bottersnikes act on laziness and selfish behavior. There's no obvious fallout from their ways, but it's obvious that the Gumbles enjoy positive relationships and a generally happy existence compared to their neighbors' prevailing discontent. An additional theme is communication.

Positive Role Models & Representations

On the Gumbles' side, individual skills contribute to the whole, and there's always someone there to help you up when you stumble. Mistakes help them learn important lessons about living in a community. The Bottersnikes -- and their leader in particular -- never learn from their abrasive natures and don’t consider the benefits to working together, which consistently puts them at a disadvantage.

Violence & Scariness

Tumbles, falls, and other accidents, and the Gumbles sometimes inflict pain on the Bottersnikes (pulling their nose hairs, for instance).

Sexy Stuff

Some gross-out humor, including farting and boogers.


This series is inspired by a series of children's books.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Bottersnikes & Gumbles is adapted from a classic Australian book series by S.A. Wakefield that follows the interactions of two very different sets of neighbors. The Gumbles represent everything that's good about living in harmony with others and the world around you; they're mindful of their impact on their environment, they share what they have, and, in turn, the land gives them what they need to live and play. In contrast, the Bottersnikes think only of themselves, hoarding their stuff in a junk pile, resisting friendships, and generally being unpleasant. There's some mild bathroom humor, mostly from the unappealing Bottersnikes (farting, boogers), and some moments of mischief, but all in all, this is a delightful series with strong messages about the value of mindfulness, community, and generous lifestyles.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 7, 9, and 12-year-old Written byAdrienne M. August 25, 2016

Fantastic animation

My boys love it. Good fun and brilliantly produced - in Australia.

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What's the story?

Tucked away in a quiet corner of the country live neighbors as different as different can be. There are the squishy, squashy Gumbles -- small in stature but big in heart and work ethic -- who love everything about nature and their charmed life. And then there are the Bottersnikes, who laze around their junkyard home, sleeping and munching on mattress stuffing when they're hungry. They despise the perky Gumbles and go to great lengths to keep them off their turf -- that is, when they're not napping the day away. BOTTERSNIKES & GUMBLES is the story of how these very different neighboring groups coexist.

Is it any good?

Brought to the small screen with spectacular animation, this adaptation of classic Australian books is engaging, funny, heartwarming, and cautionary in an age-appropriate manner. Just as the books are known for taking a creative stance on raising issues about environmental concerns, this series illustrates how two groups of creatures can have an opposing impact on their world. Gumbles, with their sense of community and their outward thinking, strive to keep their home a neat, clean, pleasant place to be, and it in turn provides them what they need. On the other hand, the selfish, lazy Bottersnikes think only of themselves and their needs, and they live among the ruins of that attitude. These simple themes are easy for kids to grasp and don't overcomplicate the stories.

Bottersnikes & Gumbles is also a true visual treat, embellishing in all the right ways illustrator Desmond Digby's work. The details stand out -- from the Gumbles' eclectic home decor to the Bottersnikes' bizarre features -- creating a series that's truly a joy to watch. The Snikes' grumpy natures might concern very young kids, but most will find a magical place where even the most unpleasant of neighbors can't dampen the Gumbles' joyful lifestyles.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how the Bottersnikes and Gumbles compare. Which would you rather live among? Are there redeeming qualities to the Bottersnikes? In real life, is it easy to characterize people as "good" or "bad"? How do our different experiences influence how we live?

  • What impact do you have on where you live? How can you minimize your footprint?

  • Kids: How do you resolve conflicts with your peers? Does talking out a problem always work? Is there ever a time when it's best to agree to disagree?  

  • How do the characters in Bottersnikes & Gumbles demonstrate communication? Why is this an important character strength?

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love crazy creatures

Character Strengths

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Themes & Topics

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