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 Bunnicula is a cartoon series based on the vampire-bunny star of a children's book by James Howe. Despite his fangs and batwing ears, Bunnicula is mostly harmless, but he does instigate all kinds of mischief for himself and his fellow furries, Harold the dog and Chester the cat. The show also presents many kinds of monsters and monster hybrids, but there's so much silliness in play that it's not a scary watch. Expect a lot of preposterous situations and trouble that never has any real consequences for the characters.
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What's the story?
BUNNICULA follows the adventures of a vampire bunny named Bunnicula (voiced by Chris Kattan) and his adopted family -- 14-year-old Mina (Kari Wahlgren), Chester the cat (Sean Astin), and Harold the dog (Brian Kimmet). After a somewhat mysterious past, Bunnicula settles right in with Mina and her animal friends, but when she's not around to keep tabs on him, he gets into mischief of one supernatural kind or another. Often this means monsters, zombies, and curses that terrorize Chester and amuse good-natured Harold, while Mina remains oblivious to the goings-on.
Is it any good?
This spirited series is a fun pick for parents and kids who want to break in slowly to the concept of the paranormal and scares in general. Yes, there are monsters of every variety, plus witchcraft, possession, and the occasional malevolent carnivorous plant, but the show is too lighthearted -- and the titular bunny too cute -- to spook anyone for real. Instead Bunnicula keeps you guessing with hilarious antics and an engaging cast of characters who somehow manage to remain friends after all their messes.
Like any book adaptation to reach a screen, Bunnicula offers families a chance to see how someone else interprets an author's work. In the case of this show, viewers who have read the book will notice some significant differences in this series, which invites comparative discussions and other follow-up conversations. And with such gentle content, it's a great pick for families with a range of kids' ages.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what, if anything, in Bunnicula is scary. How does a show's animation style and comedy affect whether the characters scare you? Do you like a little spook with your entertainment or not?
What role do grown-ups play in this show? Do your kids have as much freedom as Mina seems to? What rules does your family have (playing outside, talking to strangers, using the internet) that help keep you safe?
Kids: If you've read Bunnicula, do you like how this show's creators cast him and the other characters? What other book adaptations have you seen? Are there books you'd like to see made into a movie or TV show?
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