What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that there’s little substance to this cartoon series that values action over adventure and violence over positive content for kids. The characters and scenarios are far from realistic, and fighting is the most common means to deal with every dilemma. The main female character wears clothes that reveal her cleavage, and she sometimes falls back to let the guys do the fighting for her. In other words, if you're looking for something of substance for your kids to tune into ... keep looking.
What's the story?
Eons ago, humans and animals lived symbiotically as neighbors, but eventually the evil High Roller (voiced by Ian James Corlett) convinced the animals that people were really the enemy and divided the world’s population. Now a task force called Big Green seeks to set peace in motion again. Under the direction of Commander ApeTrully (Corlett again), Big Green members Lin Chung (Andrew Francis), Jumpy Ghostface (Brian Drummond), Mighty Ray (Corlett again), and Mystique Sonia (Kelly Sheridan) set out to win over all of the animal kingdoms. But if they’re to succeed, they must undo the work of High Roller, his minions, and a host of other troublemakers.
Is it any good?
HERO: 108’s unusual character names are nothing compared to the characters themselves. A typical day in this cartoon world sees battles forged with participants’ whip-like tongues, electrocuting eyes, and a bamboo-hurling staff -- and that’s just from the heroes. Sonia wears a hat whose long sides extend to prop her up and walk for her, and Mighty Ray must choke down bananas (his least favorite food) to charge up his zapping eyes. In other words, reality wasn’t on the drawing board when this show was conceived.
That fact alone wouldn’t be enough to turn parents off, but the show’s absence of positive themes and reinforcement of some stereotypes about females (at times Sonia hangs back and lets the guys do the dirty work for her, and her strapless dress shows off some cartoon cleavage) certainly won’t help. Although the violence rarely leads to significant injury, it's prevalent and is cast in a humorous light, which also sends iffy messages to kids. Bottom line? There are plenty of better options for kids than this misguided series.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about violence on TV. Kids: Were you affected by the fighting in this show? Does it seem more or less intense than what you see in other series? Do you think this kind of violence is OK for kids to see?
Kids: What do you make of the unusual characters in this show? Did their extreme nature make the show funnier or more entertaining to you?
What ideas do you have for a cartoon series? What would be the plot, the characters, the setting? What age group would the show be geared toward? What dilemmas would the characters face? How could you incorporate some positive messages in the story?