A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
The CARTOON NETWORK APP offers kids (and cartoon-watching adults) a smorgasbord of cartoons for instant viewing. Upon first launch, users select their favorite shows from a group of Cartoon Network shows (think Adventure Time and Steven Universe) and start to create their own "mix" of preferred shows, but they also can browse clips by show or category (episodes, clips, and songs). The app gives kids some VIP access to Cartoon Network content, such as shows before they air on broadcast TV. Parents can choose to connect the app with a cable provider (by visiting a website and entering a code to verify they have a cable subscription), and this grants access to all episodes, all clips, and live TV streaming.
Is it any good?
Kids who love Cartoon Network will be in heaven -- especially if you connect the app with your cable provider -- but the ads, iffy stuff, and lack of parent settings lessen the appeal. Being able to customize a mix is especially nice: If you find you don't like a show as much as you originally thought, it's easy to banish is permanently from your playlist. It's also easy to browse videos and clips, but it would be even better if there were better features for tagging videos to save them for later viewing.
Note that some of these shows have serious gross-out factors, while others are loaded with innuendo, and there aren't any parental controls: This app is designed to let users roam free through Cartoon Network's shows, so there's no good way to make some shows off-limits. If all these shows are fair game in your family, this can be great, but it's worth talking about which shows are OK and how long it's OK to watch them. There also are a remarkable number of ads here -- perhaps more than on traditional TV.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about screen-time rules, such as the shows that are OK to watch and how long it's OK to watch them. It's easy to get drawn into watching episode after episode, so talk about how your family balances screen time with non-screen time.
Some classics (such as Looney Tunes) are available here, but their content may be a little iffy for kids. Make a point to watch with your kids and talk about what you see. Talk about what's OK and what's not OK for your family to watch. Check out the individual reviews of each show to get a sense of what you're getting into.
Some Cartoon Network shows are known for their inventive visual style. Talk about how different cartoons have different looks. What kinds of characteristics or features help you tell one cartoon from another so quickly? Talk about how artists might draw those cartoons, and consider drawing your own.
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
- Pricing structure: Free (Some shows require TV provider info.)
- Release date: July 21, 2015
- Category: Entertainment
- Size: 44.70 MB
- Publisher: Cartoon Network
- Version: 3.0.2
- Minimum software requirements: Requires iOS 7.0 or later. Requires Android 4.0 and up.
For kids who love television for kids
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.