Parents' Guide to

Aquaman

By Danny Brogan, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 6+

'60s animated adventure has peril, threat, cartoon violence.

Aquaman Poster Image

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What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

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Having first aired in 1967, this animated TV series, with DC's aquatic superhero at its center, will cause feelings of nostalgia for some, but will feel dated and out of touch to younger viewers. Originally part of the The Superman/Aquaman Hour of Adventure, this version of Aquaman has been repackaged into less than 30 minute episodes. Each episode consists of two segments solely centered around Aquaman's adventures, which sit either side of a third segment featuring one, if not multiple members of the Justice League, including Superman, Atom, and Green Lantern -- although Wonder Woman's absence is notable.

Of course, judged against today's own standards, the animation looks tired. But it is vibrant and the action whizzes along. With each segment less than 10 minutes long, the writers waste no time in fitting in as many explosions, fights, and showdowns as possible. Any gaps in the plot -- and there are a lot -- are filled in by a narrator or one of the characters. And while Aquaman finds himself in a perilous situation each episode, he never feels in real danger, on account of the fact that he has the ocean -- and all that live in it -- at his beckon call. The Justice League segments provide more substantial threat, and even death. But the real issue with the show is how white and male dominated it is. There are hardly any female characters, and when they do appear they usually require saving or are cast aside allowing the men to do the fighting. There are also few characters of color, with any non-white characters playing the role of aliens, monsters, and otherworldly beings. When viewed through today's lens, it's an issue that is difficult to ignore.

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