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 any kid who watches this show will probably turn into Gerald for at least an afternoon, communicating only with boings, beeps, and squeaks -- and chances are you'll tire of it long before he or she does. Otherwise, there are no red flags here; since it's the modern version, even the sex roles are politically correct.
What's the story?
The GERALD MCBOING BOING show on the air today is a modern (2005) adaptation of the award-winning '50s cartoon that was based in part on the original Dr. Seuss story.
Young Gerald McCloy doesn't speak: Instead, he makes sounds, from sirens to horse hooves to rockets to an entire cavalry. The shorts are usually a few minutes long; 30-minute episodes consist of a few shorts and two slightly longer vignettes featuring a Seuss-ian narrator. In this iteration, Gerald is joined by sister Janine, brother Jacob, and his usually tolerant parents, who all communicate with words instead of noises. The animation retains the '50s look, but the content puts a refreshingly modern twist on some of the old cartoon stand-by gags (for example, the bank robber isn't disguised as a little old lady -- she is a little old lady).
Is it any good?
Gerald offers giggles for everyone in the family in much the same way that the cartoon classics do. The humor is sometimes physical, sometimes verbal, and never scatological (although there is a dog who burps rather than barking). It's sheer, harmless fun -- but if you're looking for even the slightest educational or moral content, you'd do best to go elsewhere.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how Gerald communicates. What do his different noises mean? How do people understand him? What are your favorite noises? Also, do you think it really would be fun to be Gerald? Every kid will quickly discover (and sometimes even Gerald notices) that there are just times when only actual words will do.
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