A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The show means to entertain, not educate, but there are good messages about friendship and teamwork in the stories.
Matt is motivated by his love for his grandfather to battle one villain after another, but in so doing, he keeps his dangerous activities and his knowledge of his grandfather's predicament a secret from his family. His team includes a girl who's every bit as self-reliant as are the guys. The trio of heroes learns quickly that they're good as individual forces but their real power comes from working together. Good guys and bad guys are easily identified, with no crossover of good and bad.
Positive Role Models
Matt is headstrong and hasty in his decisions, which sometimes causes more trouble than it solves, but he's very brave and never backs away from a challenge. Roxie is an excellent female role model -- she's strong, smart, determined, and calculated. Gomez isn't such an asset in battle, but his knowledge proves invaluable to the team when they face the villains.
Violence & Scariness
Matt and his friends encounter danger from many villains who battle the heroes. There's traditional violence (with hitting, kicking, and the use of cell blasters and other weapons), but they often use their intellect and inherent powers to conjure traps for their enemies. Some villains are menacing.
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Bad guys often call the kid heroes "brats."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Matt Hatter Chronicles features many battles between teenage protagonists and full-grown (and often overgrown) monsters of all shapes and sizes. No injuries are shown, and no one dies, but weapons are involved, and sometimes the teens' lives are in danger. Matt engages in these exchanges without his parents' knowledge, and he keeps secret his grandfather's fate. Teamwork is a central theme and factors into the teens' success against the older and more powerful villains. Of the three, Roxie emerges as the best role model, since she's brave, determined, and more thoughtful in her approach to solving problems than Matt tends to be.
Is It Any Good?
Full of action, adventure, and fantasy, this uneven series has lots of visual appeal but a less-than-imaginative plot. It only takes a few episodes to see the pattern: Lord Tenoroc calls up a villain, Roxie and Gomez call on Matt's help, the three pool their resources to book the bad guy, rinse and repeat. Tenoroc never changes his tactic (it never dawns on him to release more than one monster at a time?), and Matt never thinks beyond the challenge directly in front of him, which could explain why his grandfather's fate in limbo doesn't change.
Matt Hatter Chronicles struggles in some spots, but the overall presentation is right up kids' alley. There's a lot of action, a colorful collection of fantastical villains, and the opportunity for an everyday kid to be a hero, even if it is in a world no one else knows about. And with indomitable Roxie and clever Gomez in the mix, there are some decent role models at times and consistent messages extolling the virtues of teamwork.
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.