Common Sense Media weekly recommendations.

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The Creature Cases (TV-Y)

Dynamic duo explores animal mysteries in fun series.

“The Creature Cases” is a fun, educational animated series from the people who created “Octonauts. It follows the adventures of an investigative couple as they solve animal mysteries. The show introduces several facts about animals and scientific gadgets and introduces real photos to help enhance the learning of young viewers. While clashes between animal species are sometimes described, it typically happens off-screen as the show has no violence. (12 episodes in about half an hour)

Snoopy Presents: It’s the Small Things, Charlie Brown (TV-G)

An engaging tale of environmentalism and activism.

“Snoopy Presents: It’s the Small Things, Charlie Brown” is a television special that introduces young children to the concepts of environmentalism and activism. Positive messages include the value of teamwork, compassion, not giving up and holding up for the little guy. Mildly potentially stressful content includes Peppermint Patty mocking Charlie and indicating that she is from the better part of town. They also get into a short push fight. But in general, there are very few uncertain things, and it suits the young primary school audience well. (38 minutes)

Available on Apple TV Plus.

Our large national parks (TV-PG)

Fantastic, educational nature show gives hope; any danger.

“Our Great National Parks” is a nature documentary show hosted by former President Barack Obama. National parks across the globe are highlighted and their wildlife habitats are being explored. Dangerous moments such as crocodiles hunting fish or large animals hunting smaller prey are accompanied by exciting music that gives a dramatic tone. Human impacts on wildlife are pointed out, including hunting, pollution, mining and industrial land use. Overall, though, the show’s tone is hopeful and uplifting, and the visual storytelling is unique. (Five approximately hour-long episodes)

Danger, emotions, drinking in anime story after apocalypse.

“Bubble” is an anime film about a group of young people who were orphaned and left behind in a collapsed city by a catastrophic event. They regularly expose themselves to danger, take part in intense parkour competitions and often fall from heights and risk sinking into the sea or what are known as watery “ant lion” graves. They also drink beer, gangs (“heck”, “hell”, “shit”, “b —– d” and other insults in English subtitles) and refer at least one to “inappropriate” touch (there is also flirting and to kiss). No one dies in the parkour competitions, but one character has a leg prosthesis from an accident, one almost drowns, and another is kidnapped and held high on a crane-like structure. A non-human character puts his hand in hot oil, but it causes no burns; in an emotionally charged scene, her body slowly disappears piece by piece as she loses her human form. The film suggests that history’s patterns of destruction and recovery are cyclical, that humans can love like no other being, and that women and humans with certain disabilities may be capable of great physical and intellectual feats. (101 minutes)

Common Sense Media helps families make smart media choices. Go to commonsense.org for age-based and educational assessments and reviews of movies, games, apps, TV shows, websites, and books.

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