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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Super Monsters is an animated preschool series about six young supernatural beings learning how to be the best people -- and monsters -- they can be. The stories play out in a school setting, so while there's little parental influence, there is the ubiquitous presence of two kind and nurturing teachers who help the kids understand their feelings and change their behavior when it's appropriate. Each episode sees one or more of the preschoolers engaged in something that causes a problem for himself or his friends. Consequences arise, and the character must decide whether to continue the errant behavior or take responsibility for and fix his actions. In every case, choosing the latter inspires positive self-esteem and improved friendships among the kids. This enjoyable series is a fun way to introduce matters of emotional development and social relationships to preschoolers.
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What's the story?
In SUPER MONSTERS, young monsters and magical beings learn the ins and outs of using their super abilities and of being good people at Pitchfork Pines Preschool. The descendants of such famous folks as Frankenstein and Dracula, these preschoolers arrive at school just as the sun goes down and then transform from humans into their alter egos: Katya (Andrea Libman), a witch; Frankie (Erin Matthews), a monster; Drac (Vincent Tong), a vampire; Lobo (Alessandro Juliani), a werewolf; Zoe (Nicole Anthony), a zombie; and Cleo (Elyse Maloway), a mummy. Under the gentle instruction of teachers Igor (Ian James Corlett) and Esmie (Britt McKillip), these youngsters learn about being good people and good monsters.
Is it any good?
Preschoolers will love the antics of these newbie monsters, and parents will love the strong examples of self-control, kindness, respect, and determination that are impossible to miss in the stories. Let's face it: Being a kid is hard work. Every day is filled with making and (hopefully) owning up to mistakes, and then attempting to transfer the resulting lessons to future behavior. It's not always a successful endeavor, and just when you've mastered one issue, another one awaits your attention. Not only do the monsters show kids how to navigate this tricky terrain, they also remind kids that the learning process is a challenge they share with them.
Positive messages aside, Super Monsters is an exceedingly delightful show to watch because of its vibrant animation and colorful (both figuratively and literally) characters. It's a gentle way to introduce the concepts of magic and monsters to kids, as the characters' experiences are relatable to viewers' own. Just like preschoolers, these characters are prone to mistakes and subject to a range of emotions, so there's something positive to learn from every story, and it's easy to find a particular episode that explores an issue that hits home with you and your tots on any given day.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how learning to control our own behavior helps us be better friends to others. Kids: When others get angry, frustrated, or impatient, how does it make you feel? Why is it important to express your feelings rather than keeping them to yourself? How do the characters in Super Monsters handle their feelings?
In what ways do friends step up to help each other in this show? Do their different personalities make that challenging in some cases? Do you ever find it difficult to be a good friend?
Which characters demonstrate positive character strengths like courage and self-control? Do the characters' experiences help you better understand situations that are difficult for you? How does having trusted grown-ups around help in difficult cases?
- Premiere date: October 13, 2017
- Cast: Erin Matthews, Andrea Libman, Vincent Tong
- Network: Netflix
- Genre: Kids' Animation
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Great Boy Role Models, Great Girl Role Models, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- Character strengths: Self-control
- TV rating: TV-Y
- Available on: Streaming
- Award: Common Sense Selection
- Last updated: November 11, 2020
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