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 KaBlam! is an animated anthological series that features recurring comedy sketches. The show uses a variety of animation styles to create a unique visual experience that will appeal to kids and older viewers alike, but its razor-sharp humor is consistent throughout every skit. There's some name-calling ("moron," "idiot," and "nimrods," for instance), mild flirting, and plenty of comic-style crashes and dismemberment, specifically with regard to "Action League Now!" skits that feature accident-prone action figures. Because of the range of characters and plots, the content is somewhat unpredictable, but on the whole, this unique show is a fun and worry-free choice for kids.
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What's the story?
KABLAM! is a '90s animated sketch comedy series that blends aspects of comic books and cartoons. Hosts Henry (voiced by Noah Segan) and June (Julia McIlvaine) introduce each skit from atop or within the comic-book frames, often sharing their own adventures as they do so. During its four-year run, the show incorporated a variety of animation styles such as stop-motion, Claymation, and cutout animation into recurring skits such as "Sniz & Fondue," "Surprising Shorts," "Action League Now!," and "Prometheus and Bob," plus a number of one-time offerings.
Is it any good?
KaBlam! deserves bonus points for creativity with its inclusive animation style that makes it a lot of fun to watch. Viewers, or "Kablamoids," as Henry and June call them, are sure to find favorites among the skits that present characters of every kind of oddity, from a genius alien's unrequited attempts to educate a simple caveman to a teen's lamentations about his younger sister's idiosyncrasies. The show even has fun with its likeness to a comic book, as the characters sometimes reference cartoon lingo (one mentions that it's time for the "bongo run" as his legs move at super speed to the thumping of a drum, for instance) and jump in and out of the book's frames.
One of the show's most memorable segments is "Action League Now!," a stop-motion production that hilariously chronicles the misadventures of four action figures: the Flesh (Jim Krenn), who's entirely naked and covered in muscles; Stinky Diver (Krenn again), who's usually seen swimming in a toilet; Thundergirl (Cris Winter), who fancies herself the leader of the group; and Meltman (Scott Paulsen), whose ability to melt proves worthless against most foes. "Action League Now!" and another segment called "Angela Anaconda" inspired spin-off series after KaBlam!'s conclusion in 2000.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about this show's appeal. Kids: How does it differ visually from the kinds of shows you typically watch? Did you find the characters funny? Which were your favorites, and why?
How does a show's animation style affect how it's received? Would the cartoons your kids watch be more or less enjoyable if they were done in Claymation, for instance? Of the styles represented in KaBlam!, which was your kid's favorite?
Is there anything to be learned from this show? Were there examples of good or bad behavior? Is it important that entertainment also teach you something, or can it be just for fun?
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