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 Larva Island is a Netflix series follow-up to Larva and continues the story of two grubs who find surprises around every turn as they explore their new island home. Gross-out humor includes farting (in one episode, the characters eat mushrooms and emit yellow clouds of gas for the duration, for instance), feces, and other body-related ickiness. Expect a lot of physical exchanges in which the characters slap, drag, and punch each other, typically using their tongues since they don't have limbs. They're also pursued by predators, eaten a time or two, and scared by other large creatures around them. This series is visually entertaining but lacks much of anything in the way of substance and sends some questionable messages about the use of violence to resolve small differences.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
LARVA ISLAND follows the misadventures of best friends Red and Yellow after they're stranded on a tropical island. As they set out to find food, discover new places, and meet new friends of all shapes and sizes, the larva must be careful lest they become a meal or plaything for one of the island's larger residents. Yellow's naivete puts them in perilous situations, and Red's hot temper adds fuel to the fire when the pressure's on, but at the end of the day, no one understands each of them like the other, and friendship prevails.
Is it any good?
This Larva spin-off delivers a more aesthetically pleasing setting for its main characters' antics than their original gutter home, but the gist is the same: potty humor, cartoon violence, and a whole lot of absurd silliness. Stories center on mundane tasks like watching a human eat his lunch and retrieving a lost item, putting Red and Yellow in ridiculous predicaments that result in loud outbursts (no words again, just grunts and other noises), temper tantrums, and physical peril. Because they're so small, most other beings are significantly larger and stronger than they are, so they face a near-constant threat of demise.
Larva Island is a veritable grab bag of content that's mostly unpredictable. There's always appeal in seeing the world from a new angle, and the vantage point of bug larva -- where tiny shells are protective helmets and the average sea bird is a giant predator -- is no exception. But the show's persistent use of bathroom humor and excessive slapstick exchanges wear after a while, especially considering there's not much substance to the content to offset it. Tweens and older viewers can see the show for the eye candy that it is, but younger viewers may get a different impression of the characters' consequence-free thumpings of each other.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the relationship between violence and humor. Do you find Red and Yellow's physical exchanges funny? Are they intended to be anything other than comical? Does the prevalence of violence in Larva Island lessen its overall impact on you? How might its effect be different on younger viewers' senses?
How do TV series or stories like this prompt us to look at the world differently? Do Red and Yellow "humanize" otherwise unremarkable beings like insects and small animals? Does the show do a good job of portraying the relative size discrepancies between the main characters and their surroundings?
Does Larva Island have a point? Can you learn anything valuable from its content? Does its ability to teach (or not) or inspire (or not) influence your enjoyment of entertainment in general?
Themes & Topics
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For kids who love animated comedy
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