By Sarah Wenk,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Harmless but noisy attempt to boost self-esteem.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Kids are encouraged to feel empowered.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that the lessons in this show are over-simplified and repeated to the point that even small children (who are comforted by the familiar) will find them tiresome. The animation is hard to look at, with lurid colors and clashing backgrounds, and the stories are right on the edge of condescending. There's nothing offensive about the show, but your kids could find many better ways to spend their time.
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What's the Story?
The SAVE-UMS are a group of small alien creatures of various shapes who live in the ocean and perform heroic deeds. For example: Two hapless glow worms get into various scrapes -- they can't reach the cell phone, and Grandma is calling! So a Save-Um uses its sticky body to climb up a wall to the phone. In another episode, a ball gets stuck on top of a transport tube device; the heroic solution is to hit a switch, lower the device, and retrieve the ball.
Is It Any Good?
The underlying philosophy of Save-ums is that "small is powerful" and anyone can be a hero. But the manifestations of this idea are so trivial and trite that the lesson is rendered almost meaningless.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about ways the series might adjust its content to be more effective. Ask kids what they're getting out of each episode. What do kids like about the show? What would they change? Are they impressed by how the characters solve problems?
- Premiere date: March 11, 2003
- Network: Discovery Kids
- Genre: Kids' Animation
- Topics: Space and Aliens
- TV rating: TV-Y
- Last updated: February 28, 2022
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