Motorcity

TV review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Motorcity TV Poster Image
Action toon offers thought-provoking content for tweens.

Parents say

age 9+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 1 review

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Positive social themes are evident throughout the story as teens band together to stand up for their beliefs. Throughout their efforts, they're forced to work as a team, listening to each other's ideas and using problem-solving skills to create their plan of attack. The villain is a wealthy man, but it's his actions, rather than his wealth, that make people dislike him.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The teens forego comfort and personal safety to stand up for what they believe in, and they never cower under the influence of their nemesis. They're faced with daunting challenges in their rebellion, but they overcome each one using teamwork and creative problem-solving skills. That said, they're teens who operate mostly without supervision, and some of them fall victim to impulsiveness, egotism, and an unwillingness to compromise.

Violence

Teens are in near-constant peril, narrowly escaping cave-ins, floods, explosions, and robots aiming to kill. Laser blasts incinerate buildings and everything else in their path, and there are some physical exchanges. The villain talks about "eliminating" the rebels, and it's presumed that there are deaths in the battles, but no killing is shown.

Sex
Language

No cursing, but marginal stuff like "kick butt," as well as name-calling like "dimwit," "scum," and "stupid."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Motorcity is too dark and intense for young kids, but for tweens, it's a rare find: an action-adventure cartoon that illustrates underlying social messages promoting awareness and activism. The heroes are teens drawn together by their mutual determination to overthrow the controlling, self-appointed city leader who's taken away the residents' freedom, so it's a great jumping-off point for talking about everything from politics to current events and issues. Because this series is intended for a slightly older audience, name-calling ("stupid," "scum," "dimwit") and violence (teens in peril, laser blasts that take down buildings, etc.) are routine -- but so are examples of positive problem-solving and critical thinking.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bysilent1 February 26, 2015

Greatest

I saw this series when it first came on air. It had very nice animation and cool graphics. I saw every episode except for the last one since it was sadly cancel... Continue reading
Adult Written byBlue-Bunny May 9, 2012

Great new series! :D

The pilot episode was just fantastic and the animation was brilliant, especially considering this was done in Flash. The action and story lines are fast-paced a... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byGabiey October 20, 2012

Motorcity, Detroit whatever its all great

This show send a good message my age older or younger. It show good leadership and friendship. The main character Mike Chilton, who has a troubled past and a hi... Continue reading

What's the story?

MOTORCITY is set in the distant future in what used to be Detroit but is now the personal possession of billionaire Abraham Kane (voiced by Mark Hamill). "Detroit Deluxe," as it's now known, is an orderly, high-tech metropolis that runs like a well-oiled machine, thanks to Kane's tyrannical oversight and his elimination of most of the citizens' personal freedoms. But one small group of rebels led by fearless Mike Chilton (Reid Scott) and his buddy Chuck (Nate Torrence) bands together in a subterranean bunker that used to house parts of the original city to plot an uprising and take back their home -- and their freedom -- from Kane's iron grasp.

Is it any good?

This action-packed cartoon is a rarity among its peers -- a political science lesson masquerading as entertainment, a commentary on government and social activism that's not a documentary or a satire. In a tween market that's overflowing with superheroes and the supernatural, Motorcity is something of an anomaly, and that's just the hook it might need to reel in this sought-after set of viewers. Once there, tweens will find a diverse and mostly appealing team of heroes drawn together by their common disdain for an autocratic establishment and their unwillingness to accept a system they don't believe in.

If all that sounds a little heady for tweens, you're not wrong. Granted, it's possible to watch Motorcity on a more superficial level, not looking beyond the high-octane car chases to analyze the power struggle that instigates them. But to do so is to miss out on Motorcity's most positive messages about social responsibility, self-expression, and personal empowerment. What's more, without relating these themes to the content, the show feels more like a one-dimensional fantasy ride than a story with any value. Bottom line? Content-wise, this show is passable for younger tweens, but it's much better suited for older ones who -- with parents' help -- can start to relate its themes to real-world issues.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Motorcity's messages. Do you think it intends to encourage critical thinking about government structures or social issues? How does it relate to current events?

  • Tweens: Do you think this is a realistic concept? Does entertainment always need to have a dose of reality to be worthwhile? What does this story have to say about heroism and the definition of a hero?

  • How does a show's style affect how it's received by viewers? Would this story be better served by a live-action format? How might that change its intended audience and the nature of its violence?

TV details

Themes & Topics

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