Parents' Guide to


By Ayize Everett, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

A caveman, a dinosaur, and a violent journey of forgiveness.

TV Adult Swim Action 2019
Primal Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 3 parent reviews

age 13+
age 17+

Too much graphic violence for a 14+

Given that CSM removed my review from public viewing, I'll try to make a more constructive review. This website gives this show a 14+ rating, and includes a warning to take it seriously, which is unusual. Violence here is usually pervasive, bloody and sometimes extreme and sadistic, with some scenes scary even for an adult. There is an episode where a dinosaur is infected by a virus, its skin starts melting, acts erratically and becomes very violent. Season 2 contains violence towards humans, with episodes where humans become very aggressive and kill other humans in very brutal and gory ways. Many episodes are rated TV-MA for a good reason, and even the TV-14 ones can get very intense. The show has no dialogue, although one episode actually features understandable language and uses "bastard" once. Season 2 also has a very brief "sex" scene (consent is not very clear though). In my opinion, this show has little substance apart from bloody violence and shock value, even storywise. I can't recommend it to anyone under 17.

This title has:

Too much violence

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (3 ):
Kids say (5 ):

This is a great show for teens with some patience and love of animation as an art form. The art, while not complicated, is simply gorgeous; each minute feels like a study in animation. There's also something about Primal not using dialogue that forces the viewer to pay close attention to the visuals. While the soundtrack is amazing, you could watch it with the volume off and get 90% of the story.

The premise is truly in the title -- the caveman and the dinosaur live in a primal world in which natural disasters, larger predators, and starvation are constant threats. To survive both must kill. And while the scenes of death can be jarring, the violence doesn't feel superfluous. The caveman is also able to demonstrate complex levels of grief and sadness at the death he both inflicts and must endure. As the plot moves forward, he also has an emotional reckoning with the dinosaur who killed his family, and encounters the grief of Mastodons as well. Families who enjoy animation with depth should find a powerful story in Primal.

TV Details

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.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate