Sigmund and the Sea Monsters

TV review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Sigmund and the Sea Monsters TV Poster Image
Remake of Krofft classic has heart, likable themes for kids.

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The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Educational Value

The show intends to entertain rather than to educate.

Positive Messages

Kids see Sigmund and his people friends look past their differences and forge a friendship, even though it defies their respective species' assumptions of each other. As the story evolves, there is some softening on both sides as select characters discover that first impressions (and worse, hearsay) aren't reliable and you must get to know someone before you can judge his/her character. Some gross-out humor in the monsters' tendency to puke blue goo on people when they're cornered.

 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Johnny, Scotty, and Robyn are excellent ambassadors for the human race, eager to learn about their new friend and quick to respect differences. Adults are less admirable, however. Barnabas is obsessed with capturing a sea monster for his own selfish gain, and Maxine seems desperate in her attempts to turn the head of Barnabas.

Violence & Scariness

No violence, but both the sea monsters and their human friends are under constant threat of discovery and (in the monsters' case) capture by the looming Captain Barnabas. Some physical humor, including minor injuries, as when Barnabas suffers a concussion from stepping on a rake.

Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Sigmund and the Sea Monsters is a reboot of Sid and Marty Krofft's 1970s series of the same name. It centers on the unusual friendship between a young sea monster and three human kids, and it's funny and heartfelt in its messages about respect, kindness, and the importance of judging people (and monsters) on their character rather than on their appearance. The combination of live acting and puppetry is an unusual find on TV today, and it makes for some nostalgic watching for parents and kids. The monsters are more goofy and bumbling than they are scary, but very young kids might need reassurance that the likes of Sigmund really don't reside in the ocean.

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What's the story?

SIGMUND AND THE SEA MONSTERS is the story of an unlikely friendship between three kids and a young sea monster. While spending the summer in a beach town with their Aunt Maxine (Eileen O'Connell) and cousin Robyn (Rebecca Bloom), brothers Johnny (Solomon Stewart) and Scotty (Kyle Breitkopf) happen upon a creature caught in a fishing net and stranded in the sand. Upon freeing him, they're shocked to discover it's actually a sea monster named Sigmund (Mark Povinelli, voiced by Drew Massey), who's just as delighted at meeting them as they are at their encounter. So begins their adventure of friendship, all while keeping Sigmund safe from the curmudgeonly Captain Barnabas (David Arquette), who's just dying to trap a monster to prove they exist. And then there are Sigmund's dim brothers, Slurp (David Crespin, voiced by Victor Yerrid) and Blurp (Meegan Godfrey, voiced by Michael Oosterom), who always manage to cause problems even when they don't mean to.

Is it any good?

This reboot is corny, funny, and filled with heartfelt themes like friendship, respect, loyalty, and kindness. Sigmund is an anomaly among his species; he's curious about humans and entirely unafraid of them, despite the stories he's heard. So when Scotty and Johnny rescue him, they become fast friends, defying everything they've heard about each other, but putting all of them at risk of being discovered. For the kids, their biggest nemesis is the scheming Captain Barnabas, played exceptionally well by Arquette and forever lurking about trying to discover their secret. On Sigmund's end, he's plagued by older brothers who insist against his friendship with humans.

The Kroffts reprise the live action and costumes style of Sigmund and the Sea Monsters circa 1970s, making this reboot a visual departure from most shows today's kids enjoy. The curiosity factor goes a long way in enticing viewers, but it's the story's heart that will keep their interest. Sigmund's friendship with his human counterparts is sweet, and all involved are called on to stand up for the others against presumed "normal" circumstances. This bodes well for family discussions about looking past first impressions and respecting differences.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about meeting new people and making new friends. Kids: Are you generally outgoing? Do you like to meet people, or do you tend to be shy? How do you help others get a sense of who you are? Why is it important to look past physical appearances?

  • Johnny, Scotty, and Robyn have to protect Sigmund by keeping his existence a secret from grown-ups. Is this courageous of them? Does it demonstrate loyalty? When (if at all) is it appropriate for you to keep secrets from your parents? How does your family make sure you're communicating well? What other character strengths are important to your family? 

  • Do you like this show's use of puppetry instead of more common styles like cartoon and CGI? Did it make the show funnier or more relatable than the same story would be in animation?

TV details

Character Strengths

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For kids who love kooky puppets

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