What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that since this clever animated classic is about a superhero, viewers will meet plenty of criminals and gluttonous villains -- but they all get their comeuppance. There's some mild violence (flying bullets, etc.), but more likely to give today's parents pause is the mild-but-noticeable stereotyping -- hard to avoid, given the show's '60s origin. Compared to other shows from the same era, though, the stereotyping is far less blatant.
What's the story?
BATFINK chronicles the adventures of the titular superhero (voiced by Frank Buxton) and his air-chopping sidekick, Karate (Len Maxwell). Thanks to Batfink's smarts (not to mention his super-sonic sonar and special wings) and Karate's strength, the duo is able to capture even the most evil of villains. Their principal nemesis is Hugo A-Go-Go (also Buxton).
Is it any good?
Unlike other cartoon icons such as Batman and Superman, viewers can really relate to Batfink. He behaves more like an uncle than a larger-than-life icon, which helps convey a reassuring message to kids that they, too, can succeed if they put their minds to it. It's also worth noting that Batfink was one of the first cartoons to incorporate audience interaction into each episode, similar to techniques used in shows like Dora the Explorer and Go, Diego, Go today.
As with many cartoons from the late '60s (the series originally ran in 1967), Batfink has its share of flying bullets, arrows, and other weapons -- most of which Batfink deflects with his strong metallic wings. But overall, the level of violence is low compared to other shows. The other thing to watch out for is some dated stereotyping; Karate's characterization as a dim, overweight martial arts expert could seem politically incorrect to some, for example. But none of that is too blatant, either.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about heroism. What makes someone a hero? What makes Batfink a hero? Can kids relate to him as a character? Why? Which contributes more to his success -- physical strength or intellect? Why does he need a sidekick like Karate?