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 each episode of this action cartoon for tweens culminates in a battle between aliens and four 10-year-old heroes, who use hand-held laser guns (which look more like toys than anything real), laser cannons, and sonic blasters on their enemies. The kids are never injured, but most of the aliens bite the dust by exploding, falling into pieces, or disintegrating. Still, the show is clearly meant as fantasy, and the mood is kept so light -- and the antagonists so non-human -- that the animated violence isn't likely to bother any but the youngest kids. That said, the show is lean on overtly positive messages, so if you're after truly substantive shows, this one probably won't fit the bill.
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What's the story?
In MONSTER BUSTER CLUB, a group of tweens wages war on invading alien life forms that attempt to hide out in their hometown. Using a tangle of secret tunnels to navigate the town unnoticed, Danny, Chris, and Sam join their good alien buddy, Cathy, on goodwill missions to stamp out the invaders. Meanwhile, when they're not battling their nemeses, the group often finds that getting along with each other requires as much skill and precision as alien-nabbing does.
Is it any good?
This series is a good choice if your tween is at the transition point between bare-bones kids' cartoons and those with a little more action and fantasy. While it does broach the subject of aliens existing unnoticed alongside average civilians, the bright CG-animation style and confident tween characters keep the overall mood light and non-threatening. There's an element of comedy in nearly everything the heroes do, which leaves little time for kids to get scared about the idea of aliens.
That said, there's still a fair amount of violence in the show, and all four of the tween heroes use laser guns and cannons to blast away at their enemies, who eventually succumb in explosions or -- in the case of robotic foes -- dismemberment. The fact that the kids are never hurt is comforting, but, on the flip side, the show's fantasy nature does nothing to emphasize the consequences of such violence in the real world.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about whether all kids' TV shows should be educational -- or whether it's OK for some to be "just for fun." Kids: What shows do you like that fall into each category? Could some be in both?
Do you think it's likely that there's life in other parts of the galaxy? How do you think people would respond to proof of alien life? How would we treat an alien if one was discovered here?
How does the violence in this show compare to what you've seen in other shows?
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