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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Pup Academy is a live-action, family-friendly series made by the creators of the Air Bud franchise. It features dogs going to a secret school, humans forging strong relationships with dogs, and conflicts that potentially threaten those relationships. Some canine characters represent stereotypical personalities, including the smart, studious dog and a couple of school bullies. There’s some barking exchanges, dog catcher chases, and sometimes a failure to sit still, but overall there’s nothing to be worried about here, especially for families who love dogs.
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What's the story?
From the creators of the Air Bud franchise comes PUP ACADEMY, a live-action series that features a secret school where young dogs learn to be good companions for humans. Morgan Edwards (Christian Convery) has moved with his mom to a new home, which is closer to his Grandpa Charlie (Don Lee). He’s not thrilled about it, but when his grandfather brings him along to his secret job, Morgan magically finds himself on the campus of a special school that is run by, and also teaches, dogs. Meanwhile, Spark (voiced by Riley O’Donnell), a stray Boxer pup fending for herself, reluctantly accepts an invitation to attend Pup Academy. Upon arrival she soon befriends the smart but nervous Whiz (Dylan Scheming), and an unfocused, but fun-loving Golden Retriever named Corazon. As the trio of newbies take classes, develop crushes, and play after school sports like Fetch Ball, they soon discover that something strange is going on, and that the important connection between humans and dogs is being threatened.
Is it any good?
This fun, family-friendly series features lots of cute dogs doing even cuter things while their human companions have no knowledge about the special education they're receiving. Meanwhile, some of the canine student body personify common human stereotypes, including the smart one, the party lover, the effusive cheerleader, and, of course, the school bullies. While they train to be good and well-disciplined companions for humans, the pups often find themselves caught up in activities that require them to problem-solve, and to learn when it its appropriate to look to humans like Morgan, Charlie, and even Corazon’s human companion Izzie (played by Aria Birch) for help.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the different breeds of dogs that attend Pup Academy. Does each dog’s breed fit his/her personality? What kind of dog would you like to see attend the school? How do you think your dog would fare?
Is it possible to anthropomorphize (give animals human traits) the dogs attending Pup Academy without using common generalizations about different kinds of people and animals? If so, how?
- Premiere date: August 26, 2019
- Cast: Riley O’Donnell, Don Lee, Christian Convery
- Network: Disney Channel
- Genre: Comedy
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Cats, Dogs, and Mice, Friendship
- Character strengths: Communication, Curiosity, Teamwork
- TV rating: TV-G
- Available on: Streaming
- Award: Common Sense Selection
- Last updated: August 18, 2021
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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.
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