By Emily Ashby,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Kindly monsters model positive behavior for preschoolers.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The show focuses on emotional development in the preschool set, using the kids' experiences to show viewers why behavior like respecting others, expressing yourself, and heeding advice is important.
Kids see the characters learn important social lessons that help them get along with others and grow as people (and monsters). Each story shows one or more of the preschoolers in a situation that challenges their patience, courage, determination, ability to follow directions, etc. There's always a consequence for making poor choices and an opportunity to make it right and learn from the mistake. The kids' unique qualities are celebrated by the grown-ups and the students' peers.
Positive Role Models
Igor and Esmie are nurturing and caring role models for their students. They share advice and gently guide their behavior, but they also allow the kids to make mistakes so they can learn from them. Much like human preschoolers, the kids can be moody, indecisive, bossy, and selfish at times, but once they recognize the error of their ways, they work hard to get back on track.
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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Based on 27 parent reviews
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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
- Award: Common Sense Selection
- Last updated: February 18, 2023
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.
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