Bobby's World

TV review by
Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media
Bobby's World TV Poster Image
Saturday morning '90s favorite charming, but a bit violent.

Parents say

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Kids say

age 7+
Based on 1 review

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Educational Value

Bobby's flights of fancy reference many historical events, such as past presidencies, and world locations, such as Japan in the 1950s.

Positive Messages

Bobby's whole family eats meals together and goes on trips together, sending a powerful message of family unity. But that message is undermined by the insults family members fling around.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Bobby's parents are present, and caring, if a little gender-stereotyped. But Bobby's teenaged sister and tween brother seem to hate Bobby and each other, and are constantly at each other's throats. Brother Derek is particularly mean, calling Bobby "dork!" in every episode.

Violence & Scariness

Some of Bobby's fantasies are pretty violent: bungee jumping off roofs, brandishing guns, a giant Godzilla-like relative that rampages through a city, pushing over buildings. There can be mortal tension in his fantasies too, as he jumps off a building or is picked up in the Godzilla-aunt's hand.

Sexy Stuff

Bobby's sister Kelly is obsessed with her boyfriend and talks about him all the time.

Language

No cursing, but a lot of insults: "Dork!" "Loser!" Bobby's brother Derek says something unkind to Bobby practically every time he opens his mouth.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

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.

User Reviews

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Kid, 10 years old March 31, 2015

umm...

This show is weird, i mean really weird! too many insults and ugly animations. if your looking for classic 90's, try ren and stimpy, tom and jerry, or doug...

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?

TV details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love cartoons

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