What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this Disney XD series is about a teen video gamer who's tapped to fight a group of real criminals bent on world domination. Perhaps not surprisingly, then, gaming takes center stage in the series, with characters frequently talking about and/or playing the central game (sometimes instead of interacting with each other in person). So expect plenty of action (though not much in the way of injuries or blood), both in the game and out of it. There's also some innocent high school flirting, but no swearing or drinking/smoking. Charlie is motivated to save the world partly by the fact that it will help his struggling single mom and younger brother.
What's the story?
Charlie Lambert (Kelly Blatz) is living a double life. By day, he's an average high school student -- but after school, he dives into his favorite video game, Hero Rising. There he becomes AARON STONE, the top player in a virtual world that's threatened by the evil Omega Defiance. Charlie is stunned to learn that the game is based on an actual conspiracy and that a mysterious corporation wants him to use his gaming talents to take on the real Omega Defiance and save the world. Charlie is soon zipping around the world with his android handler/sidekick Stan (J.P. Manoux), grappling with evil thugs, and rushing to get back home in time for class.
Is it any good?
This lightweight teen action series plays on our secret desire to be special. Charlie is plucked from obscurity, told he's unique, and then sent out to save the world. It's a common fantasy, especially for young people, though the focus on video games gives the show a 21st-century twist. Unlike, say, the Harry Potter series, or even the comedic Princess Diaries, in which the main characters are born with a hidden destiny, the star of Aaron Stone is an ordinary kid whose video game habit has transformed him into a hero.
Despite a fairly thin plot, so-so action sequences, and a far-fetched concept, Aaron Stone will likely appeal to other ordinary kids, especially those who enjoy video games and harbor fantasies of greatness. While not everyone can be born with magical powers, anyone can play a game.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about gaming. Is it possible to be addicted to games? Do you think it's healthy to avoid real people in favor of interacting with virtual characters?
Do you think becoming Aaron Stone will help Charlie become more adept at socializing in the real world?
Can video game skills translate to actual fighting skills?