Fangbone

TV review by
Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media
Fangbone TV Poster Image
Surprising violence, gross-out humor in animated series.

Parents say

age 7+
Based on 5 reviews

Kids say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

The show is set up as a battle between good (Fangbone) and evil (Fangbone's enemies), but the only way to tell this "good" and "evil" apart is in how they appear, not how they act. Both are violent and quick to battle physically. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

The show's theme song tells us Fangbone is a hero, yet he uses force and violence -- hardly a heroic character. His sidekick Bill is more of a normal kid, but he encourages Fangbone's violent tendencies. Parents are present but ignore what Fangbone and Bill are up to. 

Violence

Fangbone frequently brandishes and uses a sword, though he uses it to hit, not stab, his enemies. "Bad guys" are generally green, many in number, faceless, and monster-like, and when hit, they fall over and lie still. A fantasy battle results in a flurry of hacked-off limbs (no blood). Fangbone is often violent toward inanimate objects; for instance, he decapitates a clock's cuckoo, whose severed neck is red and looks (cartoonishly) real. This may scare young viewers. Lots of gross-out violence: A villain sends a small monster that burrows into the wax-filled ears of a character. 

Sex
Language

No cursing but insulting language: "You miserable dung-rats." 

Consumerism

Show is based on a series of books viewers may want to read after watching. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Fangbone is a cartoon about a character from another world who battles villains to protect his homeland. Though kids will probably enjoy the gross-out humor -- villains are generally green, monstrous, and dripping with saliva or mucus -- and Fangbone's violent reactions to everyday situations -- he eats the pancakes made by his friend's mom by stabbing them with his sword, shish kebab-style -- parents may not enjoy the show's big moral complication: Though we're told that Fangbone is heroic, his actions are indistinguishable from those of the "villains." So, viewers are asked to relate to a violent character who hurts others. Expect some insulting language: "You miserable dung-rats." The frequent Fangbone/villain battles generally end in the "bad guys" lying on the ground unmoving or in a pile of hacked-off limbs (no gore or blood). Female characters are very uncommon and not central to the action. 

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bybananaboat12 July 17, 2016

Sorely misunderstood!

Completely inaccurate rating on this site! The pilot is a bit more gross-out and doesn't represent what the series becomes after that - hence, its only air... Continue reading
Adult Written byI couldn't thin... September 22, 2016

It's a bit like a raunchier version of Star vs the Forces of Evil. Which is great.

On the surface it's a violent gross-out show about two boys defending a toe from his owner. It's actually about the importance of friends and family,... Continue reading

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What's the story?

When the forces of evil threaten the kingdom of Skullbania, FANGBONE is the 9-year-old who rises to the challenge. Flung from his kingdom into the wilds of Eastwood Elementary's third-grade class, Fangbone must save his homeland from the villainous clutches of his archenemy Venomous Drool. With the help of his new sidekick Bill, a typical kid with typical problems, Fangbone battles his enemies while discovering what the modern world is all about. 

Is it any good?

With kid-pandering body humor and extensive and surprisingly intense violence, this cartoon is appealing to some young viewers, but parents probably won't like them watching. Fangbone is pretty much a released 9-year-old id: When adults tell him what to do or he doesn't like something, Fangbone's fairly likely to hit it with his sword. And his conflicts tend to be of the cartoonish and violent variety -- he's startled by a cuckoo clock, or the toe he cut off Venemous Drool suddenly turns into a giant pug intent on eating them. But all the sword-wielding and barbarianism is not fresh, thoughtful, or positive or even particularly funny to those over age 7 or so. Haw, haw, Fangbone hit the teacher in the behind with his sword, and because a battle with evil monsters immediately ensued, he didn't even get into trouble. Sigh. There are better cartoons out there. Find one of them to watch. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Does the violence in Fangbone bother you? Is it supposed to? Or is it supposed to be funny? What makes violence funny as opposed to horrifying? What is the difference between dramatic and comedic violence? What's the impact of media violence on kids?

  • Animated series frequently show things that can't happen in real life: characters flying through space, getting terribly injured yet appearing in the next scene unharmed, and wielding magic. Why does animation lend itself to this type of far-out situation? 

  • Families can talk about what defines a hero. Describe someone who is heroic. How do they treat others? Would Fangbone be a hero in real life? 

TV details

For kids who love TV shows based on books

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