Zig & Sharko



Slapstick-style violence doesn't dampen fun in silent 'toon.

What parents need to know

Educational value

The show intends to entertain rather than to educate.  

Positive messages

The show offers little in the way of meaningful content, but the relationship between Sharko and Marina is a sweet one that defies presumptions, given that a shark and a mermaid should be natural enemies. Some gender issues that might concern parents: the mermaid primps quite a bit and King Neptune is unrelenting in his attempts to woo her.

Positive role models

Sharko is the model of devotion to Marina, acting as her protector and her friend. Zig shows real perseverance through one failure after another, but his intentions are dubious.

Violence & scariness

Exaggerated cartoon roughness rarely has a lasting effect. Characters walk away mostly unharmed from explosions, crashes, and a multitude of accidents. Sharko gives a pummeling to everyone who makes advances on Marina, whether to win her heart or to make her a meal. 

Sexy stuff

Marina has supermodel curves and voluptuous hair and is often seen primping and posing, which attracts the attention of the sea king who tries to impress her with his own physique. 

Not applicable
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Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Zig & Sharko is a silent animated series from France with a lot of cartoon-style violence -- explosions, crashes, extensive falls, etc. -- that's meant to be funny rather than fearful and never yields any consequences. The show centers on one character's persistent attempts at catching and eating his mermaid neighbor, all of which are foiled by the friendly neighborhood shark. Despite the plotline, the would-be victim is never in any real danger, so there's no sense of peril to the content. Kids will also notice the surprising relationship between the shark and the mermaid, which is a good reminder that what's on the inside is more important than what's on the outside when it comes to friendship. There are some gender issues that might concern parents, with the mermaid's constant primping and the sea king's flirting.

Kids say

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What's the story?

ZIG & SHARKO is about a hyena named Zig who lives on a volcano island with his crab pal, Bernie, and plots against a beautiful mermaid, Marina, whom he wants to eat. Through a series of schemes and elaborate inventions, Zig attempts to snatch Marina from her ocean rock perch, but he's always thwarted by Marina's protector, Sharko. At times other sea dwellers make attempts as well, including the self-absorbed King Neptune, who hopes to win the affections of the beautiful mermaid.

Is it any good?


Zig & Sharko takes a page out of Wile E. Coyote's playbook in revamping a classic cat-and-mouse relationship between its characters. Zig pulls out all the stops in his efforts to nab Marina for a meal, but no amount of extravagant disguises or mechanical wonders ever does the job, thanks to the timely interference of Marina's fiercest friend. Even so, it's light-hearted, slapstick comedy that's just plain fun to watch.

The show might have improved upon Marina's character by making her a bit more self-reliant in her own defense, but as it is, she seems blissfully oblivious to the onslaught of attempts on her life. Of course, this paves the way for Sharko's gallantry in protecting her, and their relationship is a testament to friendship that defies the odds. The bottom line? There's not a lot of substance to this cartoon, but there's little to worry about either, and its silent format is a fun departure from the norm.  

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about friendship. Kids: What qualities do you most appreciate in a friend? Do you have any friends who are notably different from you in hobbies, culture, or personality? How do those differences benefit your friendship? 

  • Kids: Why do you think Zig never gives up on his goal? What goals do you have for yourself? How do you learn from past failures to improve your future chances of meeting these goals?

  • What makes the violence in this series funny rather than upsetting? If the characters were human, would the effect be different? What place, if any, does violence have in kids entertainment?

TV details

Genre:Kids' Animation
Topics:Friendship, Ocean creatures
TV rating:TV-Y
Available on:DVD, Streaming

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Educator and Parent of a 1 and 4 year old Written bybrads1 December 13, 2014

Gender Issues

I can't find much redeeming in this show. Like the old road runner cartoon its a lot of violence in rapid succession. The additional twist is a big dose of sexism with a somewhat creepy fixation on sneaking up on the ditsy mermaid.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Adult Written byWriterMother February 27, 2015

Extremely racist against asians

I saw one episode yesterday in which a horde of yellow skinned, buck toothed, slinty-eyed asians were cast as unthinking villians who wanted to eat the shark's fin. They were killed by a boat crash and then their deaths were celebrated by the heroes of the show.
Parent of an infant, infant, infant, 1, 2, 2, 3, 4, 4, 5, 5, 6, 7, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 11, 11, 12, 13, 13, 14, 15, 15, 15, 16, 17, and 18 year old Written bynicoleandmeatwadss February 9, 2015

good but only for kids

I let my newborn infant 2 and 5 year old wacth this they think it is funny


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