Ben 10: Ultimate Alien

Common Sense Media says

Darker and still violent, this Ben 10 not for the sensitive.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Educational value

The show intends to entertain rather than educate.

Positive messages

Mixed messages: There’s a clear definition between good and evil, and the heroes always strive to preserve the greater good, even at their own expense. The show demonstrates the importance of teamwork and cooperation among friends and teammates, but also shows violence as a way to resolve disputes.

Positive role models

Ben struggles with his newfound fame but never lets it go to his head, as the safety of others is always his primary goal. His friends are supportive and always willing to lend a hand in his battles.

Violence & scariness

Ben and his friends have an arsenal of weapons for defense against their enemies. Kevin’s high-tech plane packs missiles for shooting down other aircraft, and Ben uses laser guns, sword-like objects, and the variety of special skills his alien forms boast. Some villainous characters are killed, but the actions are usually implied rather than seen.

Sexy stuff

Very mild flirting between teens. Rarely a girl kisses a boy on the cheek.

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

The Ben 10 series is tied to an extensive merchandise line of toys, books, and games.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this cartoon features more of the explosive exchanges that were prevalent in the two previous incarnations of the Ben 10 series, so if violence is an issue for you, then this one isn’t a good choice for your kids. Teenage Ben is a brooding hero who’s struggling with the double stresses of fighting aliens and managing his newfound worldwide notoriety, and the show feels a little more intense because of it. Alien monsters and Ben’s own transformations can be frightening for kids as well. In other words, tweens with a good grasp of fantasy vs. reality should be fine, but younger or more sensitive kids might find the show too scary.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

BEN 10: ULTIMATE ALIEN picks up where Alien Force left off, with now-16-year-old Ben Tennyson (voiced by Yuri Lowenthal) still taking on a host of alien intruders to Earth. His enemies have gotten stronger and more elusive, but Ben’s acquired a revamped Omnitrix called an "Ultimatrix," which puts more variety and power at his fingertips. With his friends Gwen (Ashley Johnson) and Kevin (Greg Cipes) at his side, Ben also faces the daunting task of handling his newfound fame after his long-kept identity is revealed.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Kids who have followed Ben’s journey from the original show won’t notice many changes besides his age in this latest incarnation of the series. He’s still a morphing master, now drawing on an even more extensive wealth of alien forms and honed skills to wage war against the imposing creatures. In addition he sports slick new rides for both road and air travel, which is sure to impress gadget-loving tween boys.

That said, this grown-up Ben has more on his plate than just blasting aliens now that the whole world knows who he is, and it makes for some uncomfortable times when his efforts to help people are misinterpreted as menacing and dangerous. There’s a noticeable change in his demeanor, which is more brooding and reflective than jovial, and by association, the show seems slightly darker than in the past. Then, of course, there’s the frequent battles between the good guys and the bad, which might frighten kids and sends iffy messages about nonviolent methods of resolving conflict.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about fantasy. What is fantasy? What aspects of this show are rooted in fantasy? How much of it is realistic? Is fantasy appropriate for everyone? How can you tell the difference? Do you like shows that have a lot of fantasy? Why or why not?

  • Tweens: Do you believe in the existence of aliens? What evidence exists to support the theory that they exist? Do you think we’ll ever know for sure if they do?

  • What did you think of the violence portrayed in this show? Was there too much violence? How does it compare to other cartoons you’ve seen? Is violence more upsetting when it’s in a live-action show than in a cartoon? Why or why not?

TV details

Cast:Ashley Johnson, Greg Cipes, Yuri Lowenthal
Network:Cartoon Network
Genre:Science Fiction
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Adventures, Space and aliens
TV rating:TV-Y7-FV
Available on:DVD

This review of Ben 10: Ultimate Alien was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Kid, 11 years old January 6, 2011
AGE
8
QUALITY
 

wow i hate it

its SOOOO horrible and the commercial is seizure city. i wouldnt be surprised if someone went to the emergency room after watching this. HORRIBLE
What other families should know
Too much violence
Adult Written bypetrepan April 17, 2011
AGE
11
QUALITY
 

Ben 10 Ultimate Alien: Because Teenage Infidelity is TOTALLY ookay

I absolutely adore Ben 10, and Ultimate Alien has some crazy cool aliens and fights. I'm really peeved, though, because no matter how many worlds you save, or how many times Man of Action (Ben 10's producer group) tells us about forgiveness, honor, friendship, loyalty, and courage, there's this gross slimy feeling creeping up my spine about the new series. Not only does it enforce clear gendered stereotypes, it's (I hope accidentally) making preteens imbibe this idea that infidelity is just a part of any relationship. Because guys can't help it. Kevin Levin, the anything-absorbing half-Osmosian powerhouse, has a bad attitude and a hard history that makes him the most impressionable and endearing character in the show. Like Beast Boy, the voice actor's previous role, he's generally comedic relief. However, the infidelity in our nation's relationships is no joke, and Man of Action consistently makes it funny through Kevin's ogling of women other than his girlfriend, the magical pink-mana-blasting half-Anodite Gwen Tennyson. This wasn't such a problem in "Ben 10 Alien Force," where when he did stray, he faced horrible consequences and quickly learned his lesson. In Ultimate Alien, Kevin never actually cheats on Gwen, but wow he has some serious problems keeping his gaze set on her! Almost every blonde on the show becomes an object of his wandering eyes. Kevin probably won't actually do anything, but jokes alone enforce the stereotype that men just can't help looking to other women; infidelity seems normal and funny. As I said, Kevin may not do anything, but the season premier that came on last Friday shows that Ben might. The 16-year-old shapeshifter's had relationship troubles the entire last season, but supposedly cleared it up by saving his girlfriend's life. Well, Julie, we've got news for you, because suddenly a blonde's appeared on the scene. This time, the story's more serious and perhaps Man of Action intends to make an object lesson of it. Man of Action, this is not the way. Pre-teens want to follow what looks fun and normal. You're making it look totally normal for a guy to "girl-shop" rather than choosing to love the girl he's with. Should shows reflect reality? Yes, and infidelity is commonplace. Commonplace does not equal normal; normal implies healthy, right living, and wanderlust does not factor into that picture at all. Leading by example says way more than leading by "oooh that was bad, let's do it the right way" because your characters have amazing adventures as a result of "being bad." Yes, they suffer for their wrong--but it's exciting! So stop it right now. Just stop. Gwen's sarcastic, correcting, and frankly really annoying responses to her cousin and her boyfriend only enforce gendered stereotypes that women have hearts and men's hearts lurk somewhere down between their legs. Crude? Yes, but honest. Setting the girl up as the defender of fidelity and the boys up as immature blonde-hungry creatures only tells boys that it's normal to be unfaithful, and tells girls to accept that as their cross to bear. Teaching girls that it's normal for men to cheat also only empowers the double standard that guys deserve whatever happens to them in a relationship. This probably doesn't reflect the nationwide statistics, but in my circle I've seen more girls mistreating (and cheating) my guy friends than vice versa, and it seems to me that saying "girls are nicer than boys" makes girls think it's okay. After all, if men have no hearts, women have the right to break them. Yes, Man of Action would never intentionally send these messages, but the unconscious gendering of the right and the wrong does not benefit women. Finally, what's with blonde and white always equalling beautiful? Yes, there exist some lovely white blonde girls out there, but seriously, every girl set up in the show as "beautiful" is as Caucasion as Hitler and blonde as Rapunzel. Not to mention stick thin. In a world that pretends to embrace diversity and to battle anorexia, you'd think Man of Action would know better. I wanna see a chubby black girl set up as a model of beauty. Or maybe I wanna see Julie struggling with body appreciation issues, or Gwen learning a lesson every now and then rather than standing out as the judgmental lie about moral perfection we see now. (Don't even get me started on her) Man of Action, please show me something that really reflects the real world problems teens face, rather than creating new subconscious traps to screw up their lives. (ps. I posted this review on prometheus studies.blogspot.com back when the season was just premiering. It's gotten a lot better now, and Ben 10 seems to be making some gains with his girlfriend. The last few episodes have been particularly good.)
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Kid, 10 years old July 19, 2010
AGE
10
QUALITY
 
8 y.o?????? Uh... A main character died and in EVERY episode each character is hurt so badly they're hit into unconsciousness! It really is way too violent for - 9. 10 + is O.K. Commonsense is CRAZY... no offense : (
What other families should know
Too much violence

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