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 Bobby's World, an animated series about an imaginative 4-year-old boy voiced by comedian Howie Mandell, is mostly charming but includes some stereotypes and is sometimes violent. Bobby's many flights of fancy include tense scenes where Bobby saves a bunch of hostages or holds off thieves with a gun. He also envisions absurd scenarios, such as a vision of a nose shop where you can pick out whatever nose you like. Parents will not appreciate how rude Bobby's brother and sister are. Derek calls Bobby "dork" at every opportunity, while 14-year-old Kelly whines about going to the mall or wishes her boyfriend would call. Bobby's family doesn't appreciate his imaginativeness and often criticizes him, but at least they're all there at the dinner table, presenting an image of an intact, if squabbling, family unit.
What's the story?
Inspired by a voice comedian Howie Mandell used to use in his standup routines, BOBBY'S WORLD follows the adventures of an imaginative 4-year-old who escapes the everyday with vivid flights of fancy. He lives with his mother and father, 14-year-old sister Kelly and 10-year-old brother Derek, all of whom carry on regular lives of trips to relative's houses, school, work and family meals. But though Bobby is there in body, his mind travels far away: into space, into underwater adventures, into a dystopian future where he's a spy. Live action introductions with Mandell begin every animated adventure.
Is it any good?
Bobby's World boasts truly hideous animation, a creepy-looking main character, annoying music and fakey-fake voices. Still, for all that, it still has something, all these years after it first began airing as a Saturday morning cartoon in 1990. Bobby's fantasies are appealingly bizarre and reference a crazy number of topics, from Japanese monster movies to To Kill a Mockingbird.
The minute Bobby's snaps out of one of his fantasies, things aren't quite as fun. Parents won't appreciate Bobby's mean and shallow siblings, nor how stereotyped and clueless Bobby's parents are. Still, parents who themselves grew up on Bobby's World may want to give this one a try with their own young kids, and may find they love it just as much as they ever did.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why Bobby's brother and sister are so mean to him. Why don't Bobby's parents protect him from the insults and shoves? Are siblings in real life that mean to their little brothers or sisters?
Do you ever have fantasies like Bobby does? What kinds of scenarios do you picture? Do Bobby's fantasies look like yours?
Are viewers supposed to like Bobby? What about Kelly? Derek? Bobby's mom and dad? What about the way their characters are presented gives you this impression?
Themes & Topics
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