A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The show intends to entertain rather than to educate.
Peter fights the good fight and takes villains to task, but he uses violence to do so and is haunted by a troubled past. The division between good and evil is murky in this type of environment. Teamwork proves invaluable for this ragtag team, though, and usually winds up being the difference between success and failure for them.
Positive Role Models
None of the heroes is perfect on his or her own, but by combining their individual efforts and skills, they make the group better than its parts. Peter shows his humanity when he recalls his mother's death. All the heroes act selflessly in defense of the galaxy and its inhabitants.
Violence & Scariness
Many exchanges are violent. There's punching, kicking, and dismemberment, plus weapons such as shock wands, blasters, and boom sticks that send electricity through the air at people. Brief episodes of torture with victims screaming in pain. Many threats. Talk of Peter's abduction as a boy.
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Put-downs such as "imbecile" and telling a person he has bark for brains.
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Products & Purchases
The series follows a live-action movie and has ties to Marvel's extensive conglomerate of programming and products.
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.
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.
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.