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 this mediocre anime series includes some unexpectedly dark and scary villains who sometimes use psychological methods to get what they want (by impersonating the hero's parents, for example). There's also plenty of cartoon violence, computer-animated monsters, and fast-cut action sequences typical of action cartoons. On the positive side, the heroes show courage and resilience in the face of challenges.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
DELTORA QUEST is set in the fictional kingdom of Deltora, currently under the control of an evil sorcerer known as the Shadow Lord (voiced by Michael Shepherd). The land can only be saved using the Belt of Deltora, composed of seven gems which must be obtained from throughout the kingdom. Sixteen-year-old Leif (Cole Howard) and his companions Barda (Tom Edwards) and Jasmine (Laura Rushfeldt) must traverse the land to gather the gems and use the belt to defeat the Shadow Lord once and for all.
Is it any good?
Parents familiar with the glory days of toy-inspired cartoon series like Transformers and My Little Pony will no doubt recognize echoes of their own youth in Deltora Quest, a by-the-numbers anime adventure series that curiously doesn't support a collectible card game (though one has been released in Japan). The fantasy influence strongly echoes Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia, as well as popular video game series like Final Fantasy and The Legend of Zelda.
There's little to redeem Deltora Quest; the character designs, storytelling, and translated dialogue are all pale imitations of better work. At the same time, it's innocuous enough (aside from the cartoon violence) to pass harmlessly through the brains of the average child. If you don't mind the occasional serving of empty mental calories, there are worse shows your kids could be watching -- just many, many better ones.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about books being adapted into TV shows or movies. What are the biggest challenges involved in making a successful adaptation? Where do they usually fail or succeed? What book would you like to see become a TV show or movie?
Kids: Have you read the Deltora Quest books? If so, how did the TV show compare? If not, did the show make them want to read the books? Why or why not?
Talk about how the show portrays bravery. What does Lief do that you consider brave? What methods does the show use to reinforce the idea that Lief is brave? Can you relate to Lief's actions and decisions at all? Would you be able to face a challenge like his?
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