Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures

 
Friendship and heroics mark fun re-creation of arcade alum.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The show intends to entertain rather than to educate.

Positive role models

Pacster assumes responsibility for taking down Betrayus, and his loyal friends never leave his side in the fight. Betrayus rules by fear and intimidation, which causes some dissent among his minions.

Violence & scariness

Rayguns shoot light beams that pierce ghosts, who self-heal in seconds. Others immobilize and capture the enemies. The villains' attacks on Pac-World leave explosions and building collapses in their wake. Pacster eats the ghosts he encounters and, in some cases, regurgitates their eyes, but it's a benign process. Some of the spirits are menacing, including the leader, Betrayus, who's out to dominate Pac-World out of spite. Characters are taken prisoner and threatened with execution.

Sexy stuff

Pinky has a crush on Pacster and believes the feeling is mutual, which leads her to come to his rescue on some occasions. Pacster and his friends take advantage of her affections when they're in danger as well.

Language

Some name-calling, especially targeted at Pacster, who's called "butterball," "little chubby guy," "lemonball," and the like.

Consumerism

The show is inspired by a classic video game and associated with a line of toys.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

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.

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?

QUALITY
 

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.

Families can talk 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?

This review of Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Kid, 12 years old June 25, 2013
age 2+
 

REALLY BAD

THIS CARTOON IS BOGUS!!!! IT RUINS THE ORIGINAL PACMAN, WHY WOULD DISNEY MAKE SUCH A HORRIBLE SHOW. The pacpeople have HOVERBOARDS. WHY?!?! THE ORIGINAL PACMAN GAME HAS BEEN RUINED. AND PACMAN SHOULD BE CALLED PACBOY BECAUSE HE SOUNDS LIKE A LITTLE KID. HE SOUNDS LIKE LLOYD FROM NINJAGO. BUT ANYWAY, THE ORANGE GHOST AND PINK ARE ANNOYING, AS ONE FARTS ALL THE TIME AND THE OTHER IS ALWAYS DOING HER NAILS. Complete waste of time, do not watch.
Teen, 14 years old Written bywhippersnapper.com June 30, 2013
age 7+
 

an epic show that must be also seen and dubbed in japan

The greatest CGI tv show ever and it has a little violence and there is not a lot of deaths in this show. its more famous then eon kid
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much consumerism
Teen, 14 years old Written bySome guy. July 28, 2013
age 18+
 

This show makes me angry.

To tell you the truth, I haven't seen this show enough to judge what age group it is for. But the reason why I haven't seen this show enough is because it makes me so angry whenever I watch it. Disney is making everything a show to get money. Pac-Man is an arcade game. How can you make a show out of it? That's the thing. Pac-Man is a kid who goes to school. What in the heck? Judging by "Ms. Pac Man", I think that Pac-Man is a full-grown married man. They're just making up all this dumb stuff that makes no sense. Next thing you know they're going to make a show out of the board game Sorry or something, about a Sorry pawn who's lost on a mysterious game board and is trying to find his way home, and come to find out that the pawn works at a fast food restaurant or some obnoxious thing like that. Jeez.

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Digital Compass