A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this is a pretty cynical take on the Superfriends concept. The people being rescued aren't always grateful, and the rescuers aren't all in it for the joy of doing good for humanity. And their version of superhero horsing around during the obligatory at-home scenes can be pretty cruel.
What's the story?
In A.T.O.M. (ALPHA TEENS ON MACHINES), five diverse teens -- including the obligatory girl -- are chosen by a genius scientist to take on his fabulous machines and fight evil while living in what appears to be a glamorous animated \"real world\" house. The teens, with names like Hawk (voiced by Charlie Schlatter) and Lioness (Alli Mauzey), each have a back story explaining how they ended up fighting crime.
Is it any good?
The animation here -- a blend of classic comic book and anime -- is pretty good, with a sort of flash-vogue technique in which events are sometimes illustrated through a sequence of actual pictures, rather than a cartoon sequence. The effect is very modern, like a graphic novel.
Because of its relatively high level of cartoon violence -- the kind that includes lots of burning buildings and car crashes but stops short of ever actually killing anyone -- A.T.O.M. is best for older grade schoolers. It's graphically depicted and would certainly be scary for younger viewers.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why superheroes -- in the fictional sense -- become superheroes. Some are (as they say) born superheroes, some choose to be superheroes, and some have superherodom thrust upon them. The teens in this show were chosen, and one, at least, is in it for the fame and fortune. Would you want to be chosen to be a superhero? Why?
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