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 Buddy Thunderstruck is a fast-paced stop-motion series about a car-racing rodent. From the makers of Robot Chicken, the animation is engaging and unusual by today's standards, and the characters -- most especially the racing superstar and all-around good guy Buddy Thunderstruck -- are a curious bunch. However, the show's use of moderate language (there's lots of name-calling such as "stupid," "loser," and "jerk," plus the frequently heard "fart nugget" said in frustration) is wearing for parents whose kids might want to watch and repeat what they hear. While Buddy always emerges as a hero, he often does so by exposing the questionable deeds of locals such as law enforcement and their bosses, sending iffy messages about community leaders. This quirky series is a better choice for older tweens and teens who can fully separate reality from fantasy.
What's the story?
In the town of Greasepit, there is no bigger star than hometown hero BUDDY THUNDERSTRUCK (voiced by Brian Atkinson), a celebrated semitruck racer and owner of the local trucking company. Buddy and his best friend, Darnell (Ted Raimi), find all sorts of adventures in and around their town, what with all the curious folks who live there. Sometimes the fun happens on the racetrack; other times it's the result of something wacky at the hands of a neighbor or visitor to the town. Whatever the situation, though, Buddy and Darnell can handle every bit of this high-octane fun.
Is it any good?
This stop-motion series is at times bizarre and coarse, but the fact that it's so different from the masses gives it a significant curiosity factor. It does well by its all-animal cast that affords it a wide berth for fantasy and creativity, presenting characters who are visually intriguing and whose personalities are interesting to watch unfold. Some can be unappealing, and others are downright nefarious in their schemes to undermine Buddy's popularity. Overall, though, the show focuses on good-natured community folks who love, love, love truck racing.
That said, Buddy Thunderstruck does skew toward a slightly older audience because of some gateway language, completely random humor, and the fact that the combination of the stories and animation format make it more challenging to follow a plot than in a traditional animated series. Because of its mature appeal, this offbeat series is a fun pick for parents and older tweens to watch together.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about role models in Buddy Thunderstruck. Would you consider Buddy to be one? If so, what about his character makes him so? Why is it important to have role models?
Do you like this show's animation style? How does it influence the show's sense of humor? How differently would it be received if its format were more traditionally animated?
How does this show present the racing culture? Are there any stereotypes of it or of its fans?
Themes & Topics
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.