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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Sherwood is a YouTube Premium animated streaming series based on the legend of Robin Hood, but set in a futuristic dystopia. There’s some fantasy violence (pushing, attacks by giant sea beings, etc.), but nothing of particular concern. The themes of the show are a bit complex, which make it a better fit for older kids and tweens; they include environmental conservation, working against a despotic government, and the classic Robin Hood tale of stealing from the rich to give back to the poor. Families can talk about all of these issues and how they relate to the current state of the world.
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What's the story?
SHERWOOD is an animated series based on the legend of Robin Hood. It’s 2270, and most of the world is underwater, forcing people to live in the mud and below the surface. King Richard has built Sherwood as a way of rebuilding their lives, but he is missing, and they are at the mercy of the Sheriff. While he hoards food and medicine for the rich people who live within the city’s walls, the poor must live in the mud as sea croppers and try to survive. But a young insurgent known as Robin Hood (voiced by Anya Chalotra) is fearlessly entering the city to steal food and medicine for the sick and needy, while looking for ways to undermine the Sheriff’s power. When Robin manages to steal a special gauntlet from the Sheriff, she realizes that she has the power to do much more. With the help of a few brave others, she sets her sights on returning Sherwood back to the people.
Is it any good?
This original series offers a creative adaptation of the story of Robin Hood by setting it in a future (and very wet) dystopian universe, and making the lead character a young woman. While it follows the classic in that Robin Hood is heroic and the Sheriff is evil, everyone is also technologically savvy to some degree. The fact that this version highlights climate change issues as the reason for the world’s demise also gives it a contemporary twist.
Sherwood is full of weapons, chases, and creepy villains that include enhanced squid-like henchmen; the kind of things you might expect from a tween animated adventure series. But it's not all goofy fun; in fact, the strikingly dramatic soundtrack gives it a rather serious tone. Those familiar which the legend may find the interpretation of key characters and themes interesting.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about adaptations of classic stories into different genres. What kinds of universal themes does a story have to have in order for it to be adapted in different ways over the years?
What are the similarities between other TV and film versions of Robin Hood and Sherwood? Despite being in set in the future and in the water, is the story itself that different than the original legend?
For kids who love classic tales
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