Terrible Show For Youngsters, There Are Much Better Options.
This is my younger siblings favorite tv program, and I am forced to watch it with them at least once a day, and let me tell you, when you're forced to watch the EXACT same episode again, amd again, you start notcing things. So, without further adieu, here is my review:
EDUCATIONAL VALUE: Before every episode, there is an educational value label that is displayed for the parents. It states that when children watch Max and Ruby, they learn to recognize and handle their feelings. A very important thing for vey young children to learn, but I don't think that this is displayed in the most effective manner. Specific music plays when different emotions are expressed with the characters, so feelings are definitely recognized, but as for handling them, that's a different story. The chaacters often (but not always) make bad choices based on their decision, and they rarely seem to learn their lesson.
POSITIVE MESSAGES: Most episodes don't really have a good moral. One seven minute segment featured Ruby helping Max clean his room (how exciting) and whenever Ruby finds trash, she puts it in a bucket. When Ruby isn't looking, Max sticks the trash into his shirt pocket. At the end, Ruby realizes Max's shirt pocket is full of something, then Max reveals all of the trash in his pocket by dumping it on the floor. That's it, that was an entire seven minute segment that a group of people worked to make. No real message in that episode. That was just one example, this series has been running since 2002 (wih a 3-year hiatus in the middle of its run), why is this series so popular? It's boring and bland! Why do kids and parents like this show? (Sigh) Let's move on.
POSITIVE ROLE MODELS: Ruby is, well, think of a 6-year-old girl who watches shows about high school "drama" meant for girls twice her age. That sums up the character of Ruby. She's bossy, flirtatious, gossipy, clueless of her younger brother's intentions, thinks she knows everything, and an overall unlikeable character, she's also a complete "girly-girl" stereotype. Anything intended for girls, she likes, anything intended for boys she thinks is gross, or uninteresting. As for Max, he's also a stereotype. Only, a stereotype of young boys, rather than girls. Pretty much every character on this show is a flat, bland, stereotype. There are also no adult figures for the titicular characters (except the grandmother, who lives a few blocks away) so Ruby acts as Max's guardian. The serie's creator states that Max and Ruby's parents do live with them, but then how come their are only two bedrooms upstairs, and the only clue to their existance is a picture in the living room that seems to include a mother and father figure? Max and Ruby's parents are never even MENTIONED in the show let alone SEEN! Therefore, the serie's creator is full of it.
SEXUAL CONTENT: Nothing too objectionable, however, Ruby and her friend constantly flirt with a (clearly uninterested) boy named Roger (All are 6-years-old by the way). With children as young as 3 watching this show, some are bound to start copying this.
That's all I have to say about the content, now I'm going to focus on the quality:
STORY: Almost every episode pretty much starts out as the same script: Max keeps doing something that annoys Ruby, Ruby keeps telling Max to stop and/or direct him to something else that only worsens the problem, and in the end Max's mess-ups end up helping Ruby, and she ends up looking foolish. These plots are often contrived and laced with a lot of filler dialogue and dragged out scenes to fill a seven minute time slot. Other episodes are even MORE basic than that! The writing of the episodes are also very poor. Sometimes the things the characters say are redundant, or worse.
VOICE ACTING: The voice acting for the most part is decnt enough, except when it comes to the Ruby. Both of the voice actresses who voiced Ruby have done a terrible job. Their voices are COMPLETELY monotone. Siri has a more expressive voice than Ruby. One of them won an BAFTA for a role they played! If they could have been good enough to win a major award, they definitely could have shown the tiniest bit of emotion when playing Ruby. Also, I don't know WHO they're trying to fool, Ruby sounds more like a 30-year-old than a 6-year-old. Her voice is much too deep, and her vocabulary is much too large. They might as well have cast a man to play Ruby, it probably wouldn't have made much of a difference. Also, the former voice actress of Ruby kept changing how the character sounded through out different episodes. Pretty inconsistent.
SOUND: In the earlier seasons of the show, the sound effects fit the art style very well, the show wasn't very over-the-top and cartoony, therefore, the sound effects weren't either. However, (this is a problem throughout the shows run), the sound editing is mediocre. There are times when characters will pronounce an unusual word wrong, and a character who has just learned the word, will say it correctly. For example, in one episode, someone is talking about origami, but pronounces it ORI-GAMMY. After hearing the word for the first time, Ruby pronounces it correctly. This causes a continuity error. No one on the sound team bothered to tell the voice actor that she pronounced the line wrong, and instead were too lazy to do so, and used the line. Now onto a problem that only occurs in the later seasons of the show: the sound effects are too over-the-top for the animation style. They will use sound effects like cowbells, ricochets, and wa-wa trumpets that wouldn't be out of place in a Tom and Jerry cartoon. Want to know why it works in Tom and Jerry and not in this? In Tom and Jerry, the characters are SUPPOSED to act over-the-top, and actions are exaggerated to such a degree that unrealistic sound effects must be used to capture the zaniness and slapstick. In Max and Ruby however, nothing is over-the-top or cartoony, and it's much closer to real life than Tom and Jerry. Heck, if the world were populated by humans and not bunnies, it would be JUST like real life. Therefore, you need to have realistic sound effects to match this style. You cannot use a ricochet sound for a character that's casually walking. It just looks uncanny.
ANIMATION: Where do I even begin? HORRIBLE!!! This is some of the worst computer animation I've ever seen put into a professional production, and this show is from Canada, they produce some of the best computer animations I've ever seen! Max and Ruby is NOT one of them. The animators tend to take lazy short cuts such as rotating limbs 360 degrees during the same shot to get them where they need to be, getting physics messed up, messing up lip synching, changing faces in an instant, and perhaps the worst of all; LACK OF FACIAL EXPRESSIONS!!! This show is literally about recognizing and handling emotions, and with a show where the main character is more monotoned than Siri, the least you can do, is give the character a facial expression that matches the emotion they SHOULD be expressing through their voice. Nope! The animators end up giving the characters little to no expression in their face for the most part, and when the animator wakes up, and FINALLY thinks to themselves, "Hey, maybe she should look like THIS here." They even mess THAT up! Most significant expressions shown by the characters end up looking like something found on the internet when googling "funny faces".
Overall, this show is an abomination. Never should have lasted a whole episode rather than a whopping 5 SEASONS!!! That's a long time for a show to run, like really? Why do kid's like this show? It's boring, it's bland, it's pointless. Just... Why?
What other families should know