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 Qumi-Qumi is an animated series about three friends who leave their separate tribes and form an unlikely friendship with each other. It's creatively imagined in a world where monsters and magic exist but most discernable language doesn't, so viewers have to interpret the characters' non-conforming speech and their actions to figure out how they feel and what they think. As such, it's slightly more challenging to watch than most cartoons for this age group, but that's what makes it memorable. Expect much cartoon violence in the form of smacks to the head, crashes, chases, and the occasional dart tranquilizer, but no serious injuries. There's also some potty humor (a creature urinates on an object, for instance) and suggestions that the boy characters have a crush on their female counterpart. And speaking of that solitary female, it's worth noting that of the three, she's the most critical thinker and favors using science to solve problems.
What's the story?
QUMI-QUMI is an animated series set in an imagined world where three friends -- outcasts from their respective tribes -- find surprising camaraderie away from their own peers and with each other. Juga (voiced by Vladimir Ponomarev), Shumadan (Ponomarev again), and Yusi (Alina Rin) don't regret leaving their tribes behind, but that doesn't mean they're similar in personality or temperament, which becomes evident each time they're faced with a new adventure in their colorful, unpredictable world.
Is it any good?
Visually charming and surprisingly engaging for a show without dialogue, these energetic stories are a fun and innocuous pick for tweens. The Qumi-Qumi world is one of limitless possibilities, where magic and imagination inspire the most bizarre and hilarious experiences for these three friends. Some challenge their friendship, others cause them to solve a conundrum, and still others are merely opportunities to discover something new about their world.
The lack of recognizable language is distracting at first, but astute viewers (tweens and grown-ups alike) quickly will start to understand the cadence of the gibberish and the occasional recognizable word or phrase. What's most striking is how insignificant this exemption is from Qumi-Qumi's overall appeal since the show does such a good job of crafting interesting stories with effective body language, animation, and physical humor in place of traditional dialogue.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how fantastical shows like this one inspire kids' imaginations. Which, if any, aspects of the Qumi-Qumi world resemble those of Earth? For those that are entirely made up, how do you think the creators came up with their ideas?
- mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;
- mso-ansi-language:EN-US;mso-fareast-language:EN-US;mso-bidi-language:AR-SA">Tweens: Do you find truth in the idea that opposites attract? How is that evident in these three characters? Is it true of your friendships, or do you tend more toward people like you?
Why do you think dialogue was omitted here? Did you miss it? Would it have been easier to follow the story if the characters' speech was recognizable? What other methods of communicating your feelings or needs do you have?
Who do you think is this show's target audience? Does it appeal to grown-ups as well as tweens?
Themes & Topics
For kids who love action
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