Generator Rex

TV review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Generator Rex TV Poster Image
Thoughtful sci-fi cartoon with monsters is best for tweens.
Parents recommendPopular with kids

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 9 reviews

Kids say

age 9+
Based on 30 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive messages

The show has good messages for tweens about cooperation, respect for differences, and positive self-image. Rex has a tough time defining himself without a memory of his past, but his friends help him to balance his personal and professional lives.

Positive role models & representations

Rex struggles to balance the opposing forces in his life: first, his desire to uncover the mysteries of his past and be a normal teen, and second, his sense of responsibility to help Providence rid the world of evil E.V.O.s. At times he lets his ego and personal motivations lead him into trouble, but when push comes to shove, he always makes the right choice.

Violence

The Providence team uses guns, swords, knives, and hand-to-hand violence against the monstrous E.V.O.s, but their goal is always to disarm the nanites’ control over the human victims they’ve enslaved rather than to kill. Lasers and massive explosions sometimes cause extensive damage to buildings, but no people are shown injured by them. 

Sex

Rex often flirts with his attractive caretaker, Doctor Holiday, making insinuating comments like, “My bios spike every time I see you.” Leggy female characters are shown in skimpy bikinis.

Language

Occasional use of “butt,” but nothing stronger. 

Consumerism
Drinking, drugs & smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Generator Rex is a sci-fi/adventure cartoon is better suited for tweens than it is for kids due to a good deal of violence (guns, knives, and large explosions, for instance) with little real-world consequence and plenty of monsters of all shapes and sizes. What’s more, the intricacies of Rex’s struggles with his own identity and good decision-making are too weighty for kids to grasp. That said, the show is a rare find for tweens, blending a mature storyline about a teen’s inner battle between his sense of responsibility and his very different personal desires with an enticing plot of mystery and adventure.

User Reviews

Adult Written bySasukeUchiha June 10, 2010

Rex Knows How To Bring The Heat!

It is WICKED AWESOME! I was surprised how much I loved it. ;D The plot is so different than any cartoon I have seen. Maybe it is similar to Ben 10, but it has i... Continue reading
Adult Written byAl Jackson April 15, 2012

This show is cool!

I started watching this show last year in the beginning of July (which my birthday is in.) What i've seen so far i'm REALLY impressed! The animation... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byKassidyC April 15, 2013

Pleasantly Surprised

At first I just expected another gross out, unfunny, undeep, show incorrectly aimed at boys. But I was shocked when I found out it was actually a well written s... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written bysomerandomguy March 21, 2012

A Very Impressive Show Indeed!

I really enjoyed the first two episodes and suddenly I was hooked! It has an amazing plot to it. But it may not be right for kids, yes it may have good role mod... Continue reading

What's the story?

In GENERATOR REX, a recent global accident caused Earth to be infected by microscopic machines called nanites, which link with humans’ DNA and can turn their hosts into dangerous monsters. Rex (voiced by Daryl Sabara) was no exception, but inexplicably this remarkable 15-year-old amnesiac is able to control his nanites and transform his body at will, making him the secret weapon in the Providence agency’s battle against the mutant creatures, called Exponentially Variegated Organisms, or E.V.O.s for short. Together with his Providence team – Dr. Holiday (Grey DeLisle), Agent Six (Wally Kurth), and his chimpanzee friend, Bobo Haha (John DiMaggio) – and “regular” pal, Noah (Fred Savage), Rex must stare down evil in all forms while he searches for the truth to his past.

Is it any good?

If your tweens (especially boys) think they’re too old for cartoons, this enjoyable showis up to the challenge of changing their minds. Generator Rex is full of adventure in an ongoing battle of good vs. evil, and the subplot surrounding Rex’s questions about his past is a dangling-carrot mystery that will retain the interest of this more mature audience. True, much of the cartoon is doused in violent exchanges between Rex and a host of mutants, but even here the show’s thoughtfulness is apparent, as rather than killing the monsters, Rex uses his powers to restore their humanity.

This content is all well and good for the tween set, but it’s the very stuff that makes this an iffy choice for younger kids. An ever-changing cast of monsters, recurring villains with truly evil intentions, inner struggles with emotion, and an uncertain self-image may raise more questions than answers for youngsters, so better save this one until the littlest ones have gone to bed.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can discuss responsibility. Can you relate to Rex’s frustration over having responsibility thrust upon him? How does he cope with the pressure in Generator Rex? What responsibilities weigh heaviest on you? What coping techniques do you use to manage? 

  • Parents and tweens can talk about violence on TV. Tweens: What did you think about the violence in this show? Would you say there was too much of it, or was it OK? Did you find it realistic? Do you think it was intended to be realistic? What standards do you think should exist for violence on TV?   

  • Tweens: How would you define “self-image?” How is your self-image influenced by people around you? Do you fall victim to the media’s messages about who you should be? If so, which ones affect you most? Why is it sometimes difficult to have a strong self-image? 

TV details

For kids who love action

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