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 Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures is an animated series that's loosely based on the classic video game. Both Pac-Man and his universe have undergone significant makeovers to modernize them, and the visual effect will appeal to today's kids. The story follows the yellow orb's efforts to defend his world from an army of poltergeists, whom he can ingest but everyone else must fend off with guns. There's no blood, and the concept of death is overshadowed by the characters' power-ups and -downs. Central to the story is a strong friendship that works to the protagonists' favor against the forces that threaten peace in their world.
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What's the story?
When Pac-Man (a.k.a. "Pacster") (voiced by Erin Matthews) takes a wrong turn in the maze on the way home from school, he accidentally opens a portal to the nether realm ruled by Betrayus (Sam Vincent) and policed by his army of ghosts. Pacster's mistake is just what Betrayus needs to stage a takeover of Pac-World and exact revenge for his banishment long ago, and suddenly the happy land is overrun by ghosts. Now it's up to Pacster, the last of the fabled defenders of peace, and his best friends, Cilindria (Andrea Libman) and Spiral (Vincent again), to save the world from Betrayus' evil plans.
Is it any good?
Far from the two-dimensional dot-matrix world of his classic video game, PAC-MAN AND THE GHOSTLY ADVENTURES gives Pacster an intriguing back story, a couple of comical BFFs, and a selfless purpose of saving the world to fulfill his destiny. Known as "The Yellow One" by his enemies, the last of a race lethal to the ghosts and thought to be extinct, Pacster faces his heroic destiny head-on and shoulders responsibility for the entire world. What's more, he leans on his friends for help and turns to others for guidance when it's needed. In other words, there's a lot of potential in this vibrant, action-packed series.
As is to be expected in modern incarnations of classic characters, advances in animation technology put a whole new spin on Pac-Man and his world. The show does retain a few vestiges of the original game (Pac still chomps on colored berries, he can power up and down, and some of the sound effects recall the game's), but mostly it's an entirely new story designed for a new generation of fans.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the idea of destiny. Kids: Do you think you're "destined" to do or be something in particular? What of your special skills and qualities seem suited to this course? What do you want to accomplish in your life?
What role does Pacster's friendship with Spiral and Cilindria play in his success against Betrayus and his ghosts? Why is it easier to face a difficult challenge when you're not alone? Who are your closest friends? What makes them so special to you?
How does this Pac-Man character compare to what you know of the original one? Why do you think the show's creators decided to re-create him and his story? What gives a character staying power with fans? Do you think this one has it?
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