A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Many positive themes around courage and sacrifice, staying true to yourself, navigating the teenage years. Some negative themes around warrior characters enjoying physical conflict, and using violence to solve problems.
Positive Role Models
Maya is a positive role model overall, but she is flawed. She is very brave, asserts her wishes, doesn't believe she should be treated differently because she's a girl. On the negative side, she loves fighting and doesn't think her kingdom's problems can be solved with diplomacy. She also can be surly toward her parents, though she feels bad about it later.
All characters in the series are ancient Mesoamericans, ancestors to people living in parts of Mexico and Central America today. Series doesn't explicitly teach about Mesoamerican cultures, but some characters are drawn from Mesoamerican mythology, and visual design is heavily influenced by Mesoamerican art. There's breadth and depth in depiction of Mesoamerican people. Series creator and much of the voice cast are Latino. The Maya character also offers a diverse gender representation: She's a girl warrior who loves fighting and doesn't shy away from danger.
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Violence & Scariness
Lots of fantasy violence throughout, and warrior characters approach violence with glee. Fistfighting and use of weapons like swords. Injuries are largely slapstick in nature and not gory. Aspirational main character Maya likes to fight, and her behavior is justified as being necessary to save the human race. A fair bit of scariness as well: lots of threats and ominous foreboding (though humor makes it seem like everything will be OK).
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Brief kissing between married characters. Maya's outfit shows some skin without being too revealing. While it's not talked about in great detail, a major plot point is that Maya was the product of infidelity.
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Frequent verbal hostility as characters make threats against one another's lives. No actual curse words, but some cursing-adjacent phrases like "dang it" and "my gods." Some rude backtalking language from Maya directed at her parents.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Maya and the Three is an epic miniseries about a Mesoamerican warrior princess from the mind of Jorge R. Gutierrez (The Book of Life). The movie-like animation and storytelling are superb, but the recurring violence means littler kids should sit this one out. Maya (voiced by Zoe Saldana) and her warrior family approach fighting with glee, and teenage Maya's behavior is justified as being necessary to save the human race. The fantasy violence is a major plot point and includes fistfighting and use of weapons like swords. While injuries are largely slapstick in nature and not gory, you can expect a fair bit of scariness, including lots of ominous foreboding and characters in various degrees of peril (though the humor makes it seem like everything is going to be OK). Language is limited to cursing-adjacent phrases like "dang it" and "oh my gods." There's pretty frequent verbal hostility as characters make threats against one another's lives. The plot touches on mature themes including death and infidelity. For families with older kids, Maya and the Three is fantastic whole-family viewing.
Is It Any Good?
Maya and the Three is a visually stunning animated TV series with a storyworld that's so immersive it feels more like a movie. Creator Jorge R. Gutierrez has called the series a "Mexican Lord of the Rings," and it's easy to see why. The story follows the hero Maya's epic quest through a richly imagined fantasy world full of imagery inspired by Aztec, Incan, and Mayan art. There are many imaginative characters voiced by a star-studded Latino cast (voice actors include Rita Moreno, Rosie Perez, and Cheech Marin). Maya herself is great: both an incredibly strong and brave female character and a flawed, moody teenager at the same time. Kids will love the gorgeously designed characters, as well as the constant humor laced throughout the series. There's no shortage of excitement and action, and kids will be rooting for Maya to prevail. The story is compelling enough that grown-ups will enjoy watching along, making this series a great pick for families with older kids.
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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.
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