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 even though Willy, the main character, would vastly prefer a regular dad to his famous rock star patriarch, he's loyal and protective of Rock and encourages him to curb his excesses, especially when they create a problem for the neighbors.
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What's the story?
MY DAD THE ROCK STAR, a funny cartoon about the son of a rock star and his efforts to fit into the community and reconcile it with his peculiar family. All Willy Zilla (voiced by Joanne Vannicola) wants is to stay put -- he's tired of his family being on the road. Dad, the famous Rock Zilla (Lawrence Bayne) is happy with retirement but prone to crazy schemes and excesses that don't play well with the Zillas' stuffy neighbors. It falls to Willy, the most practical member of the family, to protect Rock from himself and keep the town from finding a way to force him out or shut down his music. But since Rock's got a good heart under his green hair, he usually comes around to Willy's way of thinking in the end.
Is it any good?
My Dad the Rock Star actually offers positive social messages, although they're subtle and blended in with wit and irony. Willy is perfectly happy with his slightly goofy, non-rock star self, and so are his friends, a pair of cool kids who aren't bowled over by either the Zillas' fame or fortune. These friends are loyal, and so is Willy, who may not always approve of his family but never fails to back them up.
At its core, My Dad the Rock Star is a simple cartoon about the difficulties of staying yourself and still fitting in. It's fun to indulge the fantasy of the childlike parent and mature child -- and the lifestyle that goes with crazy money -- but the series' point is always that even though Willy could have anything in the world, what he wants most is to stay put and lead a normal life with his friends.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what Willy wants most. He can clearly have any material thing that he wants, but he'd do or give anything not to move away from his town and his friends. It's a Richie Rich message, but it still bears repeating: Just about every kid would rather have his gang of pals than the latest tech gizmo, even kids for whom those gizmos are well within reach. Rock's oblivious antics might also lead to discussion: Why do you think his neighbors are angry? What could he have done differently? But the show's broader message -- the importance of friends over money -- might come across better if it's not pounded home with too heavy a hand.
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