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, much like the Pokemon conglomerate, this anime-style cartoon is based on a card game (and thus part of a merchandising line). Violence is the show's main issue; the dinosaurs do battle multiple times in each episode, and they bite, hit, and collide with each other. Their injuries, though bloodless, can leave them impaired, but the effects are often reversible when the human characters use of a particular game card. Injuries to humans aren't as common, but some end up wearing bandages temporarily.
What's the story?
Based on a Sega card game, the anime DINOSAUR KING follows the adventures of young Rex, Max, and Zoe, who stumble on some mysterious stones and cards that give them the power to summon dinosaurs from the past. They soon find themselves caught up in a violent battle with Dr. Z and his Alpha Gang, who want to use the dinosaurs to take over the world. With the right combination of cards and stones, a player can bring to life a flesh-and-bone animal. When a card is found, both teams race to the site and the dinosaurs they already control do battle for rights to the newfound one. The challenges also include additional cards that can help the players and their dinosaurs escape sticky situations. Certain cards, for example, can re-energize wounded dinosaurs or give them additional power.
Is it any good?
If all of this sounds a bit too familiar, you're not alone. Dinosaur King bears plenty of design and plot similarities to the ubiquitous Pokemon conglomerate, so parents who are averse to the connections between TV series and seemingly endless marketing machines may want to steer clear of this one. There's little of substance here anyway, with mostly weak adult characters, no strong positive messages to speak of, and high levels of unrealistically bloodless violence.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about animated violence. Kids: Do you often see violence in the cartoons that you watch? Does it seem real to you? Why or why not?
What sets animated violence apart from live-action violence? Do you think seeing fighting on TV can make the people who watch it more violent?
What do you know about how dinosaurs lived and died? Which dinosaurs are your favorites? Why? Would you like to study dinosaurs and other extinct species?
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