9 sci-fi shows and movies for tweens
What’s not to love about science-fiction? Literal out-of-this-world tech, fantastic and weird creatures (some of them alien), adventure, and unbelievable worlds make for wonderful escapism – for children and adults alike.
With Endlings now on Showmax, we’ve rounded up the top sci-fi kids shows for you, and your kids of course, to binge. So, grab that popcorn and get comfy, there are some truly epic feasts of imagination to get into.
We’ve chosen shows that are suitable for kids aged around 8+.
Sci-fi has a habit of taking big themes and putting them in a fantastical wrapper, and Endlings is no different. Set in the not too distant future, the Earth’s last African elephant has just disappeared from a conservation facility in Zambia.
On the other side of the world, a Canadian foster family is expecting their newest arrival, a seemingly troubled teen named Julia. Mr Leopold and his three other foster kids are Julia’s last hope before she gets sent to juvie. But, this is a sci-fi show after all, so we’re not surprised when an alien space craft crash on Mr Leopold’s farm.
The alien’s been crossing the galaxy collecting Endlings, creatures that are the very last of their kind. The foster kids band together and help protect all these strange and beautiful creatures. What follows are stories of adventure, family, and conservation (obvs). It’s fun for bigger kids and their parents to binge together.
Kid rating: 8+. Some of the aliens might be a bit too scary for younger kids.
Based on the comic of the same name, Cleopatra in Space centres around, you guessed it, Cleopatra – but a 15-year-old version. And, she’s in space. Cleo is transported 30 000 years into the future and finds herself on an alien planet, ruled by talking cats. But it’s not all just school and standard teenage stuff in the future. While kicking butt and saving the galaxy with her new friends, Cleo must try find a way home. While the alien-Egypt link might not be terribly ground-breaking (you remember Stargate, right?), this series is still a fun watch.
Kid rating: 8+ but older kids and adults will still find it watchable.
The classic tale of a boy and his dog has been given a bit of a sci-fi twist: the dog is robot, created by an arms manufacturer. A-X-L (pronounced Axle) stands for Attack, Exploration, and Logistics – pretty much a multi-purpose robot built to aid human warriors, and the perfect companion for a brooding teenager. A-X-L escapes his arms-making human creators and hides out in the desert, where Miles find him. After a slight misunderstanding, Miles and A-X-L form a bond, with the robot dog becoming Mile’s protector. It’s a sweet, action-packed movie.
Kid rating: 8-12. Definitely something a more tween audience will enjoy.
What’s a good sci-fi show without action? Max Steel certainly delivers action by the tonne. This animated series is centred on Max, a teenager who moves to a new town and discovers he has superpowers – but they are powers he can’t quite control. He teams up with the alien Steel – together they’re able to harness and control Max’s powers, becoming Max Steel. Not only is there a mystery to be solved around Max’s strange powers, but the duo must face a host of villains who are after Max’s power. The fast-paced action makes it a very enjoyable watch.
Watch Max Steel; Max Steel: Maximum Morphos; Max Steel: The Dawn of Morphos; Max Steel: The Wrath of Makino; Max Steel: Fusion Tek; Max Steel: Team Turbo; Max Steel: Turbo Charged; Max Steel: Turbo Warriors.
Kid rating: 9+. Made for tweens!
This live-action series will win you over with its STEM-focused storylines – it’s wholesome entertainment for kids and adults alike. Nick moves to a new town with his mom and is not entirely thrilled to be living across from what looks like a scrap yard. His curiosity gets the better of him, and he explores it with his new friend, Shania.
Here they meet Anne, a tween science genius who loves solving problems with tech and engineering. The show has a bit of a steam-punk feel to it which adds to its charm. You might put this show on for your kids, but you’ll be drawn into watching it as much as they do.
Kid rating: 8+. And, honestly, this is very parent-friendly.
This New Zealand series is so compelling, it puts a lot of adult series to shame. Rose wakes up one morning to a world where the internet doesn’t work. There’s no power, all of the adults are gone, the dogs have gone crazy, and there’s some dark ominous storm clouds overhead. What follows is intense. The kids band together to survive while trying to solve the mystery of what happened to all of their parents. This show is great, but it can be a little too eerie for younger kids.
Kid rating: 10+. A bit scary for younger kids.
The Odd Squad is a crime-fighting organization run mostly by kids, using math. But don’t let the arithmetic put you, or your kids, off this quirky and creative series! For a kids’ show, the writing’s great – it’s humorous enough for kids of all ages. And, watching the protagonists, agents Olive and Otto, use maths to catch a perpetrator and solve a crime is highly enjoyable. But it’s not all seriousness: one of the themes that runs through the series is that you can’t take things too seriously and that sometimes being silly and creative is what’s needed. It’s a reminder that creativity and maths go hand in hand.
Kid rating: 8+ Cause maths is fun for all ages! But while older kids can watch and enjoy this, it’s skewed towards a slightly younger audience.
The Star Trek movies
What sci-fi listicle would be complete without mentioning Star Trek? There’s a reason why there have been so many iterations of this much-beloved show over the decades. It’s good, and these three latest movies are no exception.
They’re beautiful to watch, packed full of action, and (since this is Star Trek) weave in big themes like loyalty, friendship, and what it means to be human. They’ve got a lot of heart and are perfect family-movie night watching, everyone can enjoy.
Kid rating: 10+. Its grittiness might not appeal to younglings, and parental guidance is advised.
As someone with an older brother, Transformers was something that I grew up with. But, this 2007 Michael Bay adaption is not like the almost dorky robot transforming into cars we grew up with. It’s a bit grittier with a lot more action. This is Michael Bay after all. So, there really is a lot of action. The Autobots are alien creatures that find themselves on Earth – one of which, Bumblebee (a yellow robot capable of transforming into a seriously sweet yellow Camaro), befriends a human. The Autobots help defend Earth from their arch-nemesis, the Decepticons in an all-out, explosion a minute, visual spectacle. It’s pure enjoyment with so many fast cars, big machines, and daring stunts. Watch the whole Transformers Collection.
Kid rating: 10+. There’s a lot of action and violence which might not suit younger kids.