Not Quite Narwhal sure is a new series featuring a species confused unicorn, Kelp, who discovers he’s not a narwhal like the rest of his adoptive family. Go figure.
What's in this review
What is Not Quite Narwal?
DreamWorks created Not Quite Narwhal as a new animated series based on Jessie Sima’s picture book series of the same name. In a nutshell, Not Quite Narwhal follows the adventures of a species confused unicorn (Kelp) who gets swept away in the current one day and discovers unicorns that look surprisingly like him.
It begs the question: how stupid are you Kelp? You live underwater with a family that looks nothing like you and:
- have hoofs not flippers
- need to wear a helmet over your head to breathe
- differ in just about every physical characteristic minus the horn
Since I would be remiss to not regurgitate the some of the same crap Common Sense Media shits out, I will tell you that it is a story about finding yourself and discovering who you really are… even if you really have to question just how stupid this unicorn truly is.
If Kelp isn’t as dumb as he looks, then I have to say, Not Quite Narwhal just doesn’t draw me into the illusion the unicorn wouldn’t have figured his shit out faster than say Buddy from Elf.
In Elf, Santa effectively kidnaps Buddy from an orphanage and an older elf raises him as a son. What made the story remotely believable was:
- You could believe Buddy truly was that naive or stupid.
- The elves all looked like Buddy, but they were half his size and grew slower.
For all Buddy knew, he had some weird genetic condition that caused gigantism or other growth abnormality. And just like other genetic disorders, it causes an exceedingly short life expectancy.
If you stop to contemplate it for a second, Buddy will die centuries sooner than any of his friends or family. So, in effect, he is living with a rare, fatal condition that will cause him to die while most elves would likely be in their infancy or toddler years.
Very sad Christmas.
Anyway, Kelp ends up finding the land for the first time in his life where he comes across strange creatures that look a lot like him known as unicorns. He befriends two siblings named Pixie (Scarlett Kate Ferguson) and Juniper (Micaiah Chen).
These unicorns teach him about being a unicorn, while he regals them with tales of living in the sea. It’s a truly joyous experience as he floats between worlds and learns to accept himself for who he is.
As such, Not Quite Narwhal resonates with the LGBTQ+ community as it is a story about finding yourself, but you don’t need to spend time worrying about bigoted things. The show won’t influence your child to be “gay.”
What parents need to know
As children shows go, Not Quite Narwhal is not terrible. By almost default, it is much better than other titles available on Netflix, like Rainbow Rangers, and those found on Disney Plus, like Mickey Mouse Funhouse or Clubhouse.
The premise is a bit flawed only if you apply logic to it, but in fairness, most children shows have relatively flawed premises. It will teach your kids to search for their true selves and more about what makes a family and friendship.
You know, all those things we used to teach as parents before streaming became so popular. Now more so than ever, we can let the TV raise our kids.
For those who care, there is nothing to worry about in regards to watchability for the youngest children. Though they could feature an episode where Kelp’s helmet breaks as he is trapped underwater and has only minutes of air left, they haven’t and likely won’t. There is also no violence or other “problematic” issues with Not Quite Narwhal series.
What to talk to your kids about
One of my favorite past times is finding out what Common Sense Media has to say about what you should talk to your kids about regarding pretty much any show or movie. While you can certainly get some advice there- I guess – I’ll give you some much more engaging questions to ask and topics to discuss here that you won’t find on that prissy site. They are guaranteed to rousing:
- Kelp is different and, if we’re going to be honest here, a little slow. It took him several years of his life to figure out he wasn’t a freaking narwhal. You’re kind of both slow and different. Have you considered how you being so different is a drain on me? I mean, you probably haven’t, because like I said, you’re pretty slow too.
- All the characters are pretty accepting of Kelp despite his differences. Have you ever felt the thrill of making fun of someone different than you? It’s kind of a rush, so maybe you should try it. Better be the bully before someone else bullies your sorry ass.
Just for fun…
Since Not Quite Narwhal is a story of a unicorn that falls for a delusion of being a narwhal, it may fun to try and convince your kid that they are adopted and a different species. You could sit them down and level with them: they are an adopted chimp and it may be time for him/her to meet their family as you pull out tickets to the local zoo.
Try mixing it for extra fun. See what kind of crazy animals you can convince them they are. Added points if you convince them you’ll be dropping them off with their species either in the wild, a local rescue, preserve, or zoo.
Not Quite Narwhal has started to generate some questions about the TV series, though not many yet. Here are some answers to those questions.
Where can I watch Not Quite Narwhal?
The Not Quite Narwhal TV series is found on Netflix. So if you finally got caught sharing your friend or family’s password and got booted off, you are going to need to shell out to get your own account you mooch.
Seriously though, I don’t know anyone who isn’t involved in a streaming service ring of shady password sharing.
Is Not Quite Narwhal LGBTQ?
While Not Quite Narwhal is not officially a representation of the LGBTQ+ community, many within in the group appear to think of it as family friendly allegory of finding your sexual identity and realizing you may not fit the norm.
It can also resonate with adopted people and families since Kelp is clearly adopted.
But don’t worry if you are a narrow minded bigot, there is nothing remotely sexual or promotional about the series. It won’t turn your kids “gay.” You are safe. You are secure in your sexuality.
What is the book Not Quite Narwhal about?
Like the series on Netflix, Not Quite Narwhal books are about Kelp, a unicorn who was happily living life as a narwhal until one day the genius discovers that he is actually a unicorn.
- Premiere date: June 20, 2023
- Cast: Nevin Kar, Scarlett Kate Ferguson, Lucy Lowe
- Genre: Educational, Children, Fantasy
- TV rating: TV-Y
- Network: Netflix
Not Quite Narwhal: Parent Review
Name: Not Quite Narwhal
Description: Not Quite Narwhal follows the stories of Kelp as he discovers that he is not a narwhal like the rest of his family. Instead, he is a unicorn living under the sea.
User Review( votes)
Unlike many children shows, there is not much to really tear apart with Not Quite Narwhal. I’m not saying it is quality television or streaming for an adult audience. But I am saying it is much better than a laundry list of other shows and movies that include – but are not limited to – the following:
- Mickey Mouse Clubhouse
- Mickey and the Roadster Racers
- Mickey Mouse Funhouse (do you see a theme here?)
- Cinderella III: A Twist in Time
- Rainbow Rangers
Unlike some of these shows, the theme song doesn’t repeat incessantly. There are actual, relatable lessons for young children. And for those that struggle with any aspect of their identity, it may help them understand and explore their own feelings a bit better.
You also won’t hear Mickey constantly saying stupid shit like “Do you see which way we should go?”
I mean, I do question how Kelp doesn’t realize he’s a unicorn from the get go, but maybe his adoptive family just convinced him he is just different or has some rare as mutation. A bit of a stretch, but it does offer a positive message that may resonate with some kids.
Overall, Not Quite Narwhal is not as enjoyable as Bluey or – oddly for a straight middle aged man – My Little Pony. Both these shows take steps to include adult oriented humor and topics that are generally lacking in Not Quite Narwhal.
However, I will say, I believe it may be meaningful to older children, teens, and adults who struggle with their sexual identity or other aspects of their life that don’t fit the cultural or accepted norm. This is evidenced through a quick search online to see what different groups are saying about the show.
Don’t worry too much though all you narrow minded people out there. It won’t turn your kids “gay” and won’t remotely discuss or display anything sexual. Your bubble is safe. You are safe. You are a strong, sexually secure person raising strong, sexually secure children.
For everyone else, it could be a great jumping off point to talk about being different. Or a great way to convince them they are actually adopted lemurs. The choice is yours.
generally positive messages about accepting differences and discovering who you truly are without judgement
Kelp is a bit slow witted to not realize he is an adopted unicorn living in the ocean
not the most enjoyable show for an adult to sit through