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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Fungies is a quirky cartoon about a bunch of colorful talking fungi who live on Earth in prehistoric times. The premise is kooky, but the show models a passion for science and characters treating each other with kindness. There's some moderate cartoon violence -- like one character throwing another after an argument -- but the characters apologize for their actions afterward. Some scenes are very mildly scary, with sad characters or some excitement during adventure scenes. There are some brief mentions of attraction and dating and mild potty language like "butt."
What's the story?
THE FUNGIES are a bunch of colorful talking fungi living on Earth in prehistoric times. Lead character Seth (Harry Teitelman) is a 10-year-old science-loving Fungie who is constantly trying to get his friends and family to appreciate how awesome science is. He lives with his super-caring mom, somewhat dim-witted but loving older brother Pascal, and younger two-headed siblings The Twins. In each episode, he explores different natural phenomena like "snow" or "bogs." Seth's unbounded enthusiasm inspires him to go to great lengths in his scientific inquiries, and hilarity ensues.
Is it any good?
This show sure is quirky, but it's also super sweet underneath all the limb-detaching and absurdity. The Fungies is reminiscent of other creature-focused '80s kids shows like Fraggle Rock and The Smurfs. Parents will be amused to see that the show also features '80s movie-style montages with David Bowie-esque soundtracks. Kids will love that these prehistoric fungi characters inhabit a delightful world that makes no logical sense. Characters can remove their eyeballs, use their arms as skis, and survive a night frozen in a block of ice. Lead character Seth goes on silly missions like desperately wanting his mom to see snow for the first time, or trying to collect the perfect sample from a bog to impress his classmates.
The silliness will draw kids in, but parents will appreciate all the great stuff secretly woven through each episode. Seth loves science unabashedly and models using the scientific method as he's trying to learn about the world. The characters are open and honest about their emotions. Also, each of the characters is unfailingly kind and compassionate. After Seth tells his mom he's too busy to take a bath, he says "but please know you're a wonderful, caring mother who I am lucky to call a friend." In this absurdist fungal universe, this over-the-top compassion fits right in.
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