A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Series intends to entertain rather than to educate, but it does raise concept of conservation in ways that can inspire discussion about the need for it.
Kids see members of a nontraditional family overcome differences to form strong relationships. Concept of conservation is subtle but recurring theme: Story centers on idea of the last member of different species being protected by aliens. Alludes to events in Johnny's past that are difficult for him to discuss.
Positive Role Models
Mr. Leopold is ideal foster parent: kind, patient, respectful of emotional space while determined to develop trust in his young charges. Julia learns to trust others and rely on them, and the whole family uses their shared purpose of saving the endlings to develop closer ties with each other. Some adults are less altruistic in their motives and don't seem to have creatures' best interests at heart.
Violence & Scariness
Some scary and intimidating creatures threaten humans. Mild violence (hitting, punching, etc.) and perilous moments put them at risk, as when something pulls a person underground briefly. Humans use blasters that trap and store creatures. Flashback scenes recall Julia's father's drowning death.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Endlings is a Canadian drama series about a family that protects the extraterrestrial beings and endangered creatures they discover. Some of the creatures look scary, and there are tense moments during which the creatures' intentions are uncertain. And some of the adult characters do things that suggest they're motivated by greed and selfishness, at the potential expense of endangered species. On the upside, the family dynamics among the four kids and their foster father emphasize communication, respect, and empathy. The cast offers a positive range of representations -- especially in the case of Finn's physical differences -- but rather than being a matter of conversation or analysis, it's all just part of the family's reality. The show isn't superbly acted or animated, but viewers who can forgive that will find plenty to like in its themes about family and conservation.
Is It Any Good?
CGI shortcomings lessen the impact of this mostly heartwarming drama about a nontraditional family and the cause that unites them. In an era that sees the line between reality and animation increasingly difficult to decipher on-screen, Endlings feels like a visuals throwback, made all the more obvious by the fact that the story is set a couple of decades in the future. This -- along with some fairly campy acting on the adults' part, particularly -- adds to the show's somewhat confusing impression on the audience, leaving older viewers especially to wonder if there's meant to be an element of comedy or if that's just an unfortunate mistake.
Even so, there are several things to like about Endlings. In centering on a foster family, the story doesn't shy away from some of the challenges faced by this arrangement specifically and families in general. The kids bicker, there are hurt feelings, and communication isn't always effective, but the loving guidance of a devoted adult helps hold things together. Also effective is the subtle message about conservation. The story doesn't hit viewers over the head with it, but it implies its importance throughout and can inspire discussions within your own family about how and why environment preservation might be encouraged.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.