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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Hollow is an animated series about teens trapped in a dark, baffling world with no idea how they got there or how to get out. The series is absorbing and exciting for tweens but may be too scary for younger siblings. The characters are frequently in serious danger, nearly falling down sheer cliffs or being captured and eaten by giant bull creatures. They come up against towering villains with sharp teeth and unearthly eyes, and the music is pulsing and intense. There's no swearing (a joke about one character not wanting to get close to another one's butt is about as profane as it gets), and sexual content is confined to the odd significant look between characters. Female characters have strong roles with agency, on both the "good" and "bad" side of the action.
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What's the story?
In the opening moments of Netflix's animated drama THE HOLLOW, Adam (Adrian Petriw), Mira (Ashleigh Ball), and Kai (Connor Parnall) awaken in a featureless bunker, with no memory of how they got there. But since poison gas is soon seeping into the room, they don't exactly have time to figure it out. Now they're trapped in a mysterious world where everyone and everything seems to want them dead. Can they pull together and solve the mysteries of who they are, how they got here -- and how they're going to get out?
Is it any good?
The opening credits, with creepy tinkly piano and a swirl of autumn leaves, sets a tone that never lets up in this thrilling animated series that reads like Lost for the tween set. Mira, Kai, and Adam are trapped in a world that's not just dangerous, it's interestingly creepy, staffed as it is with man-eating Minotaurs, chirpy aproned housewives who abruptly transform into terrifying witches, and a purple-faced prepster-demon who seems to have a vested interest in slowing their progression through the nightmare realm.
"Are we dead?" Adam wonders, then, when he comes across a rack of scientific vials in some creepy cabin in a forbidding woods. "Are we someone's experiment?" Unclear. And as the mystery deepens, the kind of kid who's maybe just a little too young for Stranger Things is just the right age for this appealingly weird series. And parents who have an appreciation for the dark and puzzling may be pulled into watching The Hollow, too.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about setting. Stranding a set of characters in a strange and frightening place is a staple of horror and sci-fi. What movies or TV shows does The Hollow remind you of?
Animation makes it easy to picture things that are difficult to show with live action. What kinds of things does The Hollow depict that are easier to show as animation? Are there any drawbacks to animated shows?
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