What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that although there's nothing that iffy about this somewhat bizarre cartoon, there's not much overtly positive content, either. The three flawed main characters are a flighty cooking apprentice who never suffers repercussions from his constant kitchen mishaps (which result from his own rash actions), a supportive but unrealistically patient mentor, and an under-appreciated employee whose reliability is often taken for granted. A one-sided love interest depicts a young girl as pleading and desperate for attention from her crush, goofy cartoon violence doesn't result in lasting injury, and potty humor includes references to body odors and scenes of vomiting.
What's the story?
CHOWDER follows the misadventures of a young chef's apprentice whose enthusiasm for his work can't overcome his obvious ineptitude for the job. A resident of the colorful and bizarre city of Marzipan, Chowder (voiced by Nicky Jones) is living out his dream, working under the watchful eye of master chef Mung Daal (Dwight Schultz) at his bustling catering company. It's Chowder's excitement that stands in the way of culinary success; he tends to get ahead of himself -- and Mung's instructions -- and often ends up cooking up more trouble than food. From accidentally poisoning a popular dish to leading himself and Mung into unfamiliar territory on a delivery run, there's no shortage of misadventure when young Chowder is around.
Is it any good?
While Chowder offers plenty of tween-friendly silliness in its fantastical setting, outlandish characters, and surreal scenarios, it's clear that it aims strictly to entertain, not educate. Kids might not notice that there's little of substance here, but parents certainly will. The characters are shallow, the situations are unlikely, and there's impossibly little consequence to Chowder's constantly sub-par job performance. Plus, one young female character has an obsessive crush, and there's occasionally icky potty humor (body odor, vomiting, and the like).
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the importance of doing a job well. Kids: What do you think of Chowder's performance in the kitchen? What often gets in the way of his doing a good job?
How does Chowder's mentor react when things get messed up? Does his reaction seem realistic?
Do any of the characters in this series act responsibly? Who are some of the most reliable people in your life? How does it feel to be able to rely on them?