Friday, August 14, 2009

Sci-fi for kids

I was thinking about some of the best science fiction out there for kids, and this is a list of a few of them...

Aaron Stone is a TV show on DisneyXD all about mutants and androids and two teenagers (Charlie and Emma) who have to save the world from the Omega Defiance. The best episode so far was the one where STAN the robot goes back in time through a wormhole to save Charlie. All girls of about twelve need to watch this show now. If it had been around during the height of my obsession with all things spy/detective/top secret agent it would have been my favorite thing ever.

The quite recent Disney movie, Race to Witch Mountain had many flaws, but would make a great introduction to science fiction for a kid. I mean, it has a bit of everything. An Aluminum Foil lined trailer where a paranoid sci-fi author hides from the world. Cattle Mutilations. Worm Holes. Area 51. "Trust No One." Telekinesis. Geeky conventions full of freaks. Really Big Government Conspiracies Of Epic Proportions.You get the idea.

Arthur. Yup. That animated show on PBS about talking animals going to school and dealing with everyday scenarios. Or at least, that's what it looks like from the outside. But if you start studying the show, it's a lot more then that. It has TWO cannon species of aliens. Buster has been abducted, maybe even twice. Aliens stole DW's snowball, and then returned it. There is fortune telling, zombies, vampires and ghosts and Omble! I'm pretty sure that actually Arthur is the X-Files for kids. For almost every weird X-Files you can find a parallel Arthur episode. What Arthur is best at is the "or was it?" stories. For example. The Brain tells Fern that science fiction and fantasy is stupid, so she sets up a complex hoax involving giant killer worms. Strange things start happening around town, like the entire community garden gets trambled and eaten in the night. In the end, The Brain finds out it was all just Fern and Binky playing a prank... or was it?

E.T. I actually didn't watch it till I was older, but if I has seen it when I was like, eleven, it would have blown. my. mind. Sci-fi that takes itself seriously but also caters towards children is always the best.

The Spykids Trilogy. They weren't exactly good movies, but they introduced me to some sci-fi concepts I had never even dreamed of. Demetra for example. I don't think I had ever thought of what would happen if a robot, android or computer program developed a personality or even feelings. I don't think I'd even ever really thought about robots, androids or computer programs before. And the movies are brimming with crazy gadgets, which are a must for every good child spy who fights crime and genetically altered zoo animals.

Most people think of Adventures in Odyssey as a dated radio drama about good Christian character for six to twelve-year-olds. Which it sort of is. But it is also more. Odyssey has CIA agents, time travel, government conspiracies and mind-control. The show has had a few epic story arcs bordering, if not crossing into the realm of sci-fi and fantasy (Dalton Kearn, A Name Not a Number, The Blackgaard Saga) but none have been quite as epic as The Novacom Saga. Government agent Jason has a romance with wayward spy for Novacom, Monica Stone. The entire DeWhite family gets relocated to the middle of nowhere thanks to the Witness Protection Program. Agent Borland of the FBI is awesome and fakes the death of Mitch, the undercover FBI agent who turned out to be AREM. Eugene and Katrina finally marry at her dying father's bedside. Arthur Dent saved the world, and then offered Whit a muffin. There is lots of mind control and brain waves and strange virus' and mass cooperation cover-ups and Bennett Charles and stolen technology level four passwords and genetically engineered cockroaches and BEWARE ANDROMEDA OMG!! Oh. And it's terrifying.

Lilo and Stitch is often overlooked as a masterpiece of science fiction. But it is. The aliens and Men In Black are done so superbly and subtly you almost forget that it is science fiction. But it is. And there in lies the charm. Also, Cobra Bubbles has some of the best one-liner to have ever come out of Disney Animation Studios.

Now I am going to go execute my many plans for today. They involve napping, drinking tea, surfing the Internet and reading lazily.


Donna O said...

Just curious---what were the flaws you saw in Race to Witch Mountain? We found it to be a perfect family movie---no nonsense with the "bad" stuff :0).

Anonymous said...

lol, I remember that Adventures in odyssey, It was amazing!

Sci-Fi is truly amazing.

Sabe said...

not flaws like that... i just found the narrative to be kinda rushed. i think it could have benefited from flashbacks to the kid's planet or something to make the backstory stronger.