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 DC Super Hero Girls is a series of animated shorts focused on the high school years of Supergirl, Batgirl, Wonder Woman, and their DC Comics peers. With episodes that run two to three minutes in length, stories often end without much resolution or with unrealistically swift fixes to infighting and other sometimes complex troubles. Most of the central figures model positive qualities such as resourcefulness and determination, but a few lean the opposite way, trying to undermine their classmates' hard work and just being generally spiteful, usually without repercussion. There's also some flirting among the girls and their male friends. Kids -- and girls especially -- who are drawn to superheroes may enjoy this glimpse into their formative years, but there are better options than this show.
What's the story?
DC SUPER HERO GIRLS is set at Super Hero High School, where young heroes-in-training learn the ins and outs of their powers and being heroes. Super Hero High's halls are filled with familiar faces -- Wonder Woman (voiced by Grey DeLisle), Batgirl (Mae Whitman), Supergirl (Anais Fairweather), and Poison Ivy (Tara Strong) among them -- but these teens aren't the polished saviors of the world that you're used to. They're teens met with the double challenge of mastering their special powers and wading through the social ups and downs of adolescence.
Is it any good?
Geared toward girls, these animated shorts are heavy in messages about girl power and embracing individuality, but that's sometimes muddled by teen behavior that's decidedly less heroic. While many of the characters' qualities are great for kids in the audience -- Wonder Woman's leadership, Batgirl's intelligence, and Supergirl's kindness, to name a few -- others, such as Cheetah's egotism, gloss over how this kind of behavior can affect friendships and scholarly success.
DC Super Hero Girls makes an effort to draw girls into the fan base of strong, self-reliant heroic characters, and that's a good thing. It's also a boon that they dress modestly. Focusing on these powerful women in their teen years makes their experiences more relatable to kids and reveals their backstories, which include many mistakes even for the strongest among them. Unfortunately, the show's format hinders much story development and often results in a character's negative behavior taking center stage for the full course of an episode without much resolution, leaving you feeling like you've just invested two minutes in a commercial for the accompanying DC Comics merchandise.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what makes a hero. Does a person's nature determine whether he or she can do heroic things? What real-life heroes have you encountered? In what ways do they show they're only human?
Of the characters at Super Hero High School, which is your favorite? What are her special attributes? Is friendship important to her? How does she deal with difficult classmates?
Kids: Does watching this show change your interest in DC Comics products such as clothing or toys? Do you think this was a point of the show? When you're shopping, are you drawn to products with character images on them?
Themes & Topics
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