Lassie (2014)

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Lassie (2014) TV Poster Image
Updated, wholesome series has some scary moments.

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

Positive Messages

Friendship, family, nature, and ensuring the well-being of animals are all themes. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Non-canine cast members are from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds. The adults in Zoe's life are responsible and caring. Zoe doesn’t always follow her parents’ instructions, often in order to help someone or some thing in need. 

Violence & Scariness

Forest fires, avalanches, and other natural events create dangerous situations. Characters sometimes find themselves in peril (but Lassie helps save the day). Animal trauma is discussed, and there are vague references to the death of a parent. 

Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that the animated Lassie (2014) kid’s series is family friendly, but characters face perilous situations like forest fires, avalanches, and other scary events that require assistance or rescue. Everyone is okay in the end, but these events may spark anxiety in young children. There are references to the death of a parent, and animal trauma, too. Some of the animal characters occasionally cause a little disruption, but these moments are more entertaining than problematic. 

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What's the story?

Based on the canine character created by Eric Knight in 1940, LASSIE (2014) is an animated kid’s series starring the world’s most heroic collie. Ten-year-old Zoe lives with Lassie in the Grand Mountain National Park. While her parents, Ranger Graham Parker and Dr. Sarah Parker, the local veterinarian, oversee the area and take care of the animals, Zoe, Lassie, and best friend Harvey hike, explore, and go on lots of adventures together. They also enjoy spending time with neighbors like Mrs. Lee and eccentric naturalists like Dr. Dudley. But whenever Lassie senses potential danger, she does everything she can to protect them. 

Is it any good?

The updated version of the classic series still centers on the close relationship between a child and an equally loving dog. It offers an engaging story world that is more diverse, and less patriarchal, than the original, but still delivers a sense of wholesomeness as family and friends come together, support each other, and enjoy their natural surroundings. As is typical in the franchise, their adventures can lead to some perilous moments, but the heroic dog goes to great lengths to ensure the safety of those who love her. Meanwhile, some of Lassie’s animal friends (all of whom speak to each other) sometimes cause a little harmless mischief.

But despite its contemporary spin, Lassie stays away from discussions about environmentalism and climate change, despite the fact that these discussions could easily become part of the narrative. Some folks may feel that this is a missed opportunity, but others will like the fact that this version of Lassie continues the tradition of offering simple, family-friendly stories produced for a new generation of young viewers to enjoy. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the Lassie franchise. What makes the stories about this dog so popular? Is it because she’s heroic? Or is it because she’s so close to her family?

  • What are the differences between the Lassie (1954) TV series and this one? Which one do you think is more entertaining? Why? Are there things or events featured in the earlier series that wouldn’t work on TV today? 

  • Do you have a dog or other pet that you consider to be your friend? What makes him/her special? What kinds of things do you do together? 

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love animals

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