Pokémon TV Poster Image


As much about marketing as it is imagination.
Popular with kids

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Honor, respecting elders, team work, friendship all themes. 

Positive role models

Main characters are good sports, good friends, and value their Pokémon. 

Violence & scariness

Pokemon characters are fighters; laser shots, explosive battles, punching, kicking, humorous explosions common. No major injuries or bloodshed. 

Sexy stuff

As is typical with anime, female characters wear short skirts, breast-enhancing tops.


Occasional name-calling like "twerp" and "knucklehead."


Characters featured in endless games, toys, etc. all over the world. 

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the long-running Pokémon series is based on characters from a popular video game, and is part of a giant licensing juggernaut. The Pokémon are kid-appealing, but the series features lots of fantasy violence, and pits the cute, monster-like characters against each other on behalf of their trainers. There are some positive messages (teamwork, sportsmanship, respecting elders), but it may be too intense for younger children. 

What's the story?

The Japanese anime series POKÉMON follows the adventures of Ash, his friends, and their group of cute and highly skilled monster-like creatures that battle in tournaments on their behalf. Ash travels throughout remote, mysterious lands and works hard to become a highly skilled Pokémon trainer. Throughout his journey he meets old pals, makes new friends, and works with his Pokémon to help them use their different powers to fight when summoned. Ash and his friends must also face Team Rocket, whose mission is to steal all Pokémon in a quest for global domination.


Is it any good?


Over the years, the energetic, imagination-filled, Japanese-inspired fantasy series has cut across cultural, gender, and age barriers to captivate a global audience of girls, boys, and even adults. But like any product that inspires obsessions, it has received its share of criticism. Folks may also find the franchise's massive commercial appeal disturbing, especially since the show is mainly geared towards kids. 

The whole concept of human characters summoning subordinates to battle on their behalf may be troubling to some. This can potentially send iffy messages to children with pets, too. But despite the endless fantasy violence, Pokémon attempts to promote messages about choosing the right path in life and resolving differences peacefully--before the fighting starts. 


Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the popularity of Pokémon in the United States. Why do people of all ages find it appealing? What are the most popular Pokémon? Why?

  • What are the differences between Pokémon and real-life pets. How do Ash and his friends care for their Pokémon? How do we care for pets differently? Why are the Pokémon loyal to them and fight on their behalf? How about Team Rocket? Can we ever expect animals to fight on our behalf?

TV details

Premiere date:September 8, 1998
Cast:Eric Stuart, Rachael Lillis, Veronica Taylor
Networks:Cartoon Network, CW
Genre:Kids' Animation
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Adventures, Friendship
Character strengths:Teamwork
TV rating:TV-Y
Available on:DVD, Streaming

This review of Pokémon 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.

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Great handpicked alternatives

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

Teen, 17 years old Written byKiro April 9, 2008

Cute and cuddly violence

Pokemon's the dumbest show, but it's cute. The characters are all total goodies. Even Team Rocket (I'm referring to Jessie and James) are really good guys deep down. The show might be "violent" as many people have dsaid, but the violence is milder than playing dodge ball is gym class! The pokemon never really get hurt too badly, and they don't die, they faint. The pokemon are loyal to their trainers when the trainers are nice, which is a good message to kids, "be nice to your animal friends." And the pokemon enjoy their battles, so it's not cruel or anything. It's a great, simple show for little kids.
Teen, 15 years old Written byCartoonaholic_C... April 9, 2008


Pokemon, Pokemon, PO-KEY-MON!!! Not only the games are good, the anime is, too. One of the most cutest (and vicious) shows ever (Franny's Feet is another cute show by the way). This show is so darn good in my opinion. I always do look forward to new Pokemon by the way. I found a great Pokemon-themed site (www.serebii.net) with a lot of Pokemon-themed information and more. ALL POKEMON RULE!!!
Adult Written byParranormalHour February 5, 2012

Honestly people!

Again this review is because every one likes to insult some of my favorite kids tv shows. I remember I was four when i started watching this my cousin (He was 5 at the time) and we grew up just fine. Now on to the questionable stuff, yes the pokemon fight and what scary monster are there! If you want a semi scary tv show with horrible mythology you should be watching YuGiOh. Back to the point, there is violence but no blood or anything (1 ep. subbed in english with a gun). Now about the 'sexy stuff' really? I walked into a bookstore and saw a 12 yr old wearing daisy dukes and showing bra straps (Not that she needed a bra) through her tank top. The clothing designs on pokemon are cleaner than that. Yes there is product placement then again this show has very little plot and some how they have to make money because I wouldn't buy their movies or dvd's
What other families should know
Great messages