What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this action cartoon is heavy on violence and essentially void of any positive content for its intended grade-school viewers. Martial arts-style battles are the sole means of conflict resolution, and the bad guys often use missiles and machine guns in addition to hand-to-hand combat skills. Physical stereotyping (a black character sports a huge Afro, and an Asian girl has the look of a traditional Japanese geisha) is overt and bolstered by exaggerated accents. And don't look too hard for positive messages of any kind -- there's nothing like that in this visual equivalent of candy for kids.
What's the story?
Hidden away within the walls of his vast shopping mall, nefarious but mostly incompetent Dr. Wasabi (voiced by Paul Kaye) devises his plans for world domination and directs the moves of his primate sidekick, Bubba (Rupert Degas), and his minions, the Ninja Chimps. But, try as he may, this maniacal mutated fish always finds his efforts thwarted by a trio of talented kung fu chickens. Led by philosophical sensei Chuckie Chan (Rob Rackstraw), tenacious Chick P (Shelley Longworth), and powerhouse KO Joe (Paterson Joseph) use their martial arts skills to battle Dr. Wasabi's army and restore peace to the mall and its visitors.
Is it any good?
CHOP SOCKY CHOOKS takes bizarre to a new level with its very strange characters -- who, by the way, don't in any way resemble chickens or a fish, mutated or otherwise. While the basic premise of good vs. incompetent evil is a great plot starter when properly developed, this show loses most of its humor in an overdose of violence and overt racial stereotyping.
Kids might be drawn in by the show's action and outlandish storylines, but there's little redeeming quality to be found here. No attempt is made to put positive lessons into the plot, and the only message kids might pick up is that fighting is a reliable means of resolving conflict, making it an iffy choice for young viewers.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about how heroes are portrayed in different TV shows. Are heroic characters always good? Do they ever break rules to achieve their goals? Is it OK to lie or cheat if your overall aim is to help others? Who are some of your favorite TV heroes? Why do you like them? Families can also discuss other ways to resolve conflict besides violence or fighting. Why do you think that so many cartoon characters default to battles?