What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Crashbox is an educational series that reinforces and augments what children learn in school through entertaining interactive games and repetition. It's a solid half-hour of learning and fun that's meant to stimulate the brains of young viewers. One character is designed to be really gross -- messy, mucous-y, and rude -- and while kids will find him funny, they might need to be reminded that making fun of people for how they look or act is not cool.
What's the story?
CRASHBOX, part of HBO Family's after-school lineup, is an animated interactive series that provides brain food for grade-schoolers by engaging them in fun, fast-paced games. Each challenge tests viewers' skills or knowledge in areas such as math, history, grammar, culture, and more. Presented by eccentric characters that are brought to life through stop-motion animation, the games take place against a curious backdrop of robots and mechanical arms that perform various tasks. Each time a new game begins, a robotic arm inserts a different computer chip into a square slot -- kind of like the brain switching gears to go from one subject to the next. The games -- of which there are 14 different types -- include \"Skeleton Crew,\" in which Captain Bones from a pirate ghost ship helps children \"bone up\" on their math skills; \"Poop or Scoop,\" in which viewers are challenged to separate animal-related fact and fiction; and \"Dirty Pictures,\" in which a maid dusts off a portrait bit by bit while another character gives clues about the famous historical figure hidden underneath. At the end of each episode, a brief review session reminds viewers of what they learned.
Is it any good?
A truly educational show, Crashbox is a parent's dream: The time your child spends playing these brain-tickling games is anything but wasted. Despite two minor quibbles -- the characters' speech is sometimes hard to understand, and the complete lack of live humans as "teachers" feels a bit odd for some reason -- the lively characters are quite funny and entertaining and make learning a pleasure.
It's even likely that adults watching the show with their children will learn a thing or two (or more) and be amused by the whimsical presentation of the games. Crashbox's unique cyber-backdrop keeps it current, a nice counterbalance to what some may consider a rather dated and eccentric animation style.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about each game. Which ones did you like the most? Were any particularly difficult for you, or too easy? What did you learn that you didn't know before?
Where can you learn more about a particular subject?
What makes the Revolting Slob funny? Is it OK to laugh at someone because of how they look?