What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this 10-year-old superhero battles villains using physical violence. If parents have strong feelings about not letting their kids watch cartoons containing violence, then this one isn't for them. When facing evil, Ben is able to morph into one of 10 different alien creatures. This transformation is accompanied by dramatic visuals, dialogue, and music that may frighten younger viewers (especially those who don't understand the fantasy vs. reality concept). Some kids may be alarmed when the villains attack, punch, throw, shoot, and do whatever it takes to stop Ben. On a positive note, Ben relies on his Grandpa Max and cousin Gwen to help him get out of dangerous situations.
What's the story?
Ben Tennyson (voiced by Claudia Schmidt) is a relatable 10-year-old who gets frustrated with his family, has challenges with peers, and gets caught up in problems that he can't solve alone. The difference is that his solution to solving problems starts with using his Omnitrix, a watch-like device that he found and wears. On it he can choose which one of 10 different aliens he wants to become. Though ultimately he's still Ben, just transformed into an alien form with superhero powers.
Is it any good?
If parents have strong feelings about not wanting their kids to watch violent cartoons, this one isn't for them. The animation is rich and colorful, inspired by the look of Japanese anime. Dialogue between main characters Max, Gwen, and Ben isn't up-to-par with the visuals, though, and needs to be updated to reflect how kids really speak to each other. Still, overlooking the violence, BEN 10 gives kids a peek into the world of science-fiction, along with exciting action and creative animation.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about what makes this kid a hero. Is it his ability to morph into aliens and fight off villains, or is it that he takes on challenges and asks for support when needed?
Is it ever OK to fight back? When are other responses appropriate?
If kids are interested in Ben's alien-morphing abilities, use this opportunity to introduce science-fiction books and films.