Dennis the Menace

TV review by
Anne Louise Bannon, Common Sense Media
Dennis the Menace TV Poster Image
In '80s cartoon, curious kid finds more trouble than before.

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 5+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Educational Value

The show in meant to entertain rather than educate.

Positive Messages

Some mixed messages. Dennis and his crew sometimes fight bad guys. But he is also sometimes hailed as a hero when he was, in fact, doing something he shouldn't have.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Dennis' curiosity and interest in the world around him may be seen as a positive, but it usually gets him into trouble. He sometimes breaks the rules and doesn't have much adult supervision.

Violence & Scariness

Lots of slapstick and fantasy pratfalls that don't affect anyone permanently.  Most of the violence comes either from Dennis' misadventures or in the catching of bad guys.

Sexy Stuff
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that in this pumped up version of the original Hank Ketchum cartoon Dennis leaves the domestic realm to play in tanks, catch bank robbers, chase kangaroos, and even fly a rocket ship. Dennis sometimes gets hailed as a hero when he was, in fact, doing something he shouldn't have been. And despite some mild violence and big mistakes, there are never any negative consequences.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byMsberann October 14, 2019

Cute and funny!!! :)

I remember watching this as a kid and even if I don't remember it all I remember that I quite enjoyed it! Our main character Dennis is a cute and innocent... Continue reading
Parent of a 12-year-old Written byWeeklybob December 18, 2010
Why would you even want to watch this show or do a review on it?!?!? It's so JUNKY! I don't understand why some people appreciate cartoons that were m... Continue reading
Kid, 9 years old April 16, 2011

1986 Classic bring good fun

Dennis the Menace is an American animated series produced by DIC Entertainment (with season 2 co-produced by Crawleys Animation),... Continue reading

What's the story?

Back in the 1950s, when cartoonist Hank Ketchum first drew him, Dennis Mitchell was just an over-eager 5 year old with a gift for making his grumpy neighbor Mr. Wilson crazy. In this animated version from 1986-88, Dennis is still causing Mr. Wilson all kinds of physical and emotional pain, but in much larger ways, through adventures catching bank robbers and messing around in an army tank.

Is it any good?

Taking Dennis' adventures outside the realm of normal kid experience hasn't really done much for the character.  Dennis is still, fortunately, a good-hearted kid. Yet in pumping up the action, the cartoon loses much of its original charm and becomes too much like other cartoons in which kids fight bad guys and fly in space. If your kids can tell the difference between fantasy violence and real violence, it's mindless fun, but don't expect much else.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about cartoon pratfalls and violence.  Why do people sometimes laugh when we see someone fall?

  • Parents can ask their children if they think Dennis is doing the right thing when he plows ahead with whatever scheme or interest he has. Why do they think Dennis never seems to get into any real trouble?

  • Families: Do you think kids' television always need to teach a lesson, or is it OK to watch for pure entertainment value?

TV details

Themes & Topics

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