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 Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy is an animated follow-up to the Marvel story introduced in the live-action series of the same name. There's a lot of superhero-style violence in the characters' skirmishes with villains who wish them dead, so expect to see hand-to-hand fighting and the use of shock wands and blasters that spread more damage. Overall, though, the content is much more appropriate for kids than the movie's content was. As with all Marvel productions, there's the promise of much related merchandise to catch young fans' eyes.
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What's the story?
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY continues the story of "Star-Lord" Peter Quill (voiced by Will Friedle) and his band of misfit heroes: Groot (Kevin Michael Richardson), Gamora (Vanessa Marshall), Drax the Destroyer (David Sobolov), and Rocket Raccoon (Trevor Devall). Together the Guardians patrol the universe and thwart villains' evil plots, including the efforts of Thanos (Isaac Singleton, Jr.) to locate the Cosmic Seed, which could yield a new universe and untold power to its master. Only by delving into Star-Lord's mysterious past and locating the Cosmic Seed themselves can the Guardians hope to protect the galaxy from Thanos and his fellow villains.
Is it any good?
This continued story of the ragtag group of former criminals turned unlikely heroes plays to a younger audience than its parent movie does, thanks to generally more kid-friendly content. There's still a lot of violence, but there's also less death, and its animated format takes the edge off the exchanges that exist. Thanos remains an intimidating adversary, to be sure, but he and the other bad guys are less threatening in cartoon form than they are in live-action.
What sells the Guardians as protagonists is their relatability as individual characters. They're imperfect, they can be rash, and they have complex backstories that influence their actions and evolve as the series progresses. This makes them intriguing standalone characters and affects the group dynamic in interesting ways. Lighter moments can be humorous, and there are some melancholy ones that reference Peter's family's past. There's also a definite advantage to having seen the movie and thus knowing how the characters came to be a group, but newcomers will get up to speed fairly quickly.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about heroes. Kids: What makes someone a hero in your eyes? Does a hero have to be famous? Where have you encountered people whose actions were heroic?
If your kids have seen the movie, talk about the similarities and differences between the two productions. Does the animation contribute to or detract from the story in any way? Do you notice any character changing from one to the other? Do you think this is intentional? If so, why might it have been done?
What are some of your other favorite Marvel characters? Do you have a favorite villain? Why is it fun to imagine the world differently from how it is?
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