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 Max Steel is an action-adventure series geared toward tweens that centers on a teen with super powers and a rotating cast of villains out to conquer him and harness those powers. This fast-paced show features numerous battles between Max and his monster enemies, with CGI-animated explosions, gunfire, laser blasts, and physical combat that's slightly lightened by Max's frequent comical quips. Not surprisingly the series also features a line of toys and other products that bear the Max Steel image, so if your kids are susceptible to commercialized media, this might be a deciding factor for this otherwise enjoyable series.
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What's the story?
Maxwell McGrath (voiced by Andrew Francis) is an average teen just trying to survive high school until he discovers his power to produce turbo energy, a coveted substance in high demand by nefarious villains like Miles Dredd (Mark Oliver) and Jason Naught (Brian Dobson). Fortunately Max joins forces with an alien named Steel (Sam Vincent), who links with Max and regulates his turbo output, allowing him to control his new powers and face off with a variety of new enemies who want it for themselves. Together the teammates form MAX STEEL, the world's newest superhero.
Is it any good?
Max Steel is a re-envisioning of an animated series that was based on Mattel action figures and ran from 2000 to 2002. It's no easy task to bring a fresh face to the action-adventure market that's saturated with heroes of every shape and form, but Max Steel has some unique qualities that will intrigue tweens, and boys especially. In his human form, Maxwell is hardly a standout, often falling victim to relatable problems like bullying and school struggles but still striving to be a role model for other kids -- qualities that make his powerful alter ego that much more enticing. He's also haunted by the memory of his late father, and a subplot explores his discoveries about his dad and the new connection they have as a result of Maxwell's transformation.
As with all superhero series, there's cartoon-style violence and a sizable commercial interest to this series to consider when judging its appropriateness for your kids, but Max Steel's likable attitude, sense of humor, and clear vision of right and wrong make him a viable modern superhero for tweens.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what makes a role model. Kids: Who are some of your role models? What is it about them that you admire? Do we have different behavior standards for role models than we do for regular people?
Where does Max's strength of character come from? Who are positive influences in his life? How do his actions reflect theirs?
Tweens: What role do TV and movies play in our buying habits? Does watching a cartoon like this one make you want to own the toys or games that feature the same characters? Can we escape this relationship between merchandise and media?
How does Max Steel stack up against your favorite superheroes? What do his powers allow him to do? If you could have a superpower, what would it be? How would you use it to help people?
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.
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