A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
This show is intended to entertain rather than educate, though kids will learn positive lessons about helping others out.
When Jimmy needs help, Mayor Pufnstuf goes to great lengths to help him. Be on the look out for some dated stereotyping, like the Redwood tree dressed as a Native American, or the East Wind looking like a Chinese sage and speaking with an exaggerated accent.
Positive Role Models
Mayor Pufnstuf is a gentle problem solver with a Southern drawl. All of his friends are helpful and kind, and they all take Jimmy's plight seriously. The witch is mean, but also very silly.
Violence & Scariness
Witchiepoo bonks and curses everyone she meets. Characters fall down, clown-like, as they chase Jimmy and his flute. Some creepy images, like mean talking trees and skeletons. Explosions.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Characters kiss on the cheek chastely.
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The witch uses lots of bullying language like "stupid," "idiot," and "shut up."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Occasional smoking though in a surreal context (a tree smokes a cigar). The witch often poisons or drugs the others -- in one episode her minions blow a special smoke into a crowd and everyone collapses in laughter...
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that the psychedelic and sometimes creepy quality of this show is tempered by an earnest laugh-track. Though Witchiepoo is a villain, she is more clownish than scary. There are, however, some monster puppets that might frighten the youngest viewers. Expect young viewers to imitate some of the witch's name-calling and bullying language ("stupid," "idiot," "shut up").
Is It Any Good?
High-stepping, peppy musical numbers, mixed with comic witchy hi-jinx from the talented Billie Hayes make for fun flashbacks and good times. Parents who grew up with this classic might be amazed by how truly strange the images are -- a sparkly flute, books, mushrooms, candles, owls, houses that talk. Even Jack, the boy with the cockney accent, has a funny jig that he does when he sings with the rest of the crew.
But it's Witchiepoo who steals the show. She is a rare type of female character who is the bad guy, sure. But she is funny and energetic and childish. Her Vroom Broom feels more like a Formula One racer than a broomstick. And when she cackles and screeches, jumping around like an imp, she portrays more than a one-dimensional villain, but a woman who is is funny and tricky and wily. Nice change from the normal stereotypes. Parents should sit along side their kids while watching this series, since some of the humor might come off as dated, and some of the psychedelic images might be too bizarre for youngest kids.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.