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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The show intends to entertain rather than to educate.
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
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.
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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.
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.