What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this classic '70s Hanna-Barbera cartoon is entertainment for entertainment's sake, with no educational content. Other than the mildest of mild violence (wrestling matches, etc.), and the characters' tendency to poke fun at each other, the series is fun and inoffensive.
What's the story?
THE HAIR BEAR BUNCH chronicles the adventures of Hair Bear (voiced by Daws Butler), Bubi Bear (Paul Winchell), and Square Bear (Bill Callaway). In each episode, the fun-loving bears escape the zoo in an invisible motorcyle, much to the dismay of head zookeeper Mr. Peevley (John Stephenson) and his blank-brained assistant, Lionel J. Boch (Joe E. Ross). But the Hair Bears always prove Mr. Peevley wrong, undermining him and casting his actions and decisions in a poor light. Even though they might come across as less intelligent than the average bear, the groovy trio always beats the zookeeper to the punch. For example, in the wrestling-match episode, the bears dressed up as wrestlers so they could defeat Lionel and donate the $500 to the zoo. The show originally aired in 1971, and the influences of the era are very apparent -- Hair Bear sports a big afro, and all three bears (who, interestingly, bear a striking resemblance to Scooby-Doo) are clearly meant to be hippies.
Is it any good?
Parents should be aware that the characters poke fun at each other fairly frequently, particularly Mr. Peevley, who treats Lionel like a peon and puts him in dangerous situations for selfish reasons. But although this is hardly brain food, kids could do worse than palling around with this laid-back gang.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about what makes a person smart. Is Lionel J. Botch smart? Why does Mr. Peevley make fun of him and the other Hair Bears? Is it wrong to keep animals in zoos? What advantages and disadvantages does zoo life have for animals?