Robot Chicken

TV review by
Lucy Maher, Common Sense Media
Robot Chicken TV Poster Image
Quirky animated series is too edgy for young kids.

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 44 reviews

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 200 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive messages

Characters constantly mock and fight with each other. Stars are spoofed relentlessly, family members battle each other, characters betray each other. It's all done on purpose for laughs.

Positive role models & representations

Few characters act in particularly admirable ways, and one of the show's goals often seems to be to present childhood heroes (like Superman or He-Man) in a negative and/or ridiculous light. There's also plenty of stereotyping.

Violence

Frequent, extreme cartoon violence. The toy characters are shot, stabbed, sliced in half, decapitated, run over, blown up, beaten, and much more. Cartoon gore is often shown. Episodes have had sketches involving serial killers, the world blowing up, and every other kind of mayhem imaginable. If any of this was live-action, it would be horrifying.

Sex

Frequent innuendo; toy couples shown making out/rolling around in bed and elsewhere; references to masturbation; "happy ending" massages.

Language

"Bitch," "hell," "ass," "sucks," "balls," "dick," etc. The strongest words are bleeped out.

Consumerism

Virtually all of the characters are toys and action figures tied into TV shows and movies -- albeit often those from the '80s that are more about nostalgia than marketing.

Drinking, drugs & smoking

Not typically excessive, but present.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this frenetic, 15-minute animated sketch series is part of the Cartoon Network's late-night "Adult Swim" block. While it's visually entertaining, it's violent and irreverent, and kids and tweens probably won't get its style of humor. Plus, many of the laughs are based on the fact that the majority of the characters are toys from the '70s and '80s; viewers who don't recognize that context will probably miss a lot.

User Reviews

Parent of a 7 year old Written bySally4567 March 27, 2014

Why is this on Cartoon Network???

As a parent, I assume that Cartoon Network has shows that that are approprirate for children. While I understand that some have more mature content and are more... Continue reading
Adult Written byM&M1995 July 28, 2014

Bizarre vignettes poke fun at television, movies, music, and toys; Not for children.

Robot Chicken is an odd 15-minute long show that is composed of several short claymation vignettes/clips. The series is a full-on satire of pop culture. Definit... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byTaylor679 June 24, 2009

Disgusting

I hate it. It's way too violent, the language is horible, and sex is everywhere. If you are a christian- it commonly mocks Jesus and God. I turned it on on... Continue reading
Kid, 10 years old March 4, 2011

DONT WASTE YOUR TIME WATCHING THIS CRAP

You people need to find other ways to fill up your laughter tank because this show is too inappropriate and mean and stupid. How can you laugh at offensive and... Continue reading

What's the story?

Part of the Cartoon Network's late-night "Adult Swim" line-up, ROBOT CHICKEN entertains viewers with stop-motion animation segments that appear totally random but are tied together in the end. Created by Seth Green (Austin Powers, Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and Matthew Senreich, each episode takes viewers on a fast-paced ride through dozens of scenes populated by action figures, many of which date from the '70s and '80s (He-Man, G.I. Joe, Smurfs, Transformers, etc.).The rapid-fire, irreverent sketches poke fun at popular TV shows, movies, music, and celebrities.

Is it any good?

Much of the show's humor comes from seeing familiar toys placed in incongruous situations (Skeletor in a carpool, Voltron in a break-dancing contest). As a result, the viewers most likely to enjoy the show are pop culture-savvy types who grew up playing with the toys in question. That said, if parents can get past the series' completely random humor, goofy absurdity, and frequent, random acts of cartoon violence, there's nothing about Robot Chicken that older teens won't find elsewhere.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what makes this show (and cartoons in general) funny. Why is it funny to see old toys put into incongruous situations?

  • Why does cartoon violence make us laugh, when the same thing happening in real life would be terrifying?

  • Why are cartoons, as a whole, so entertaining for kids? Do they enjoy the dialogue or the animation more? How can you tell when a particular cartoon isn't meant for younger viewers?

TV details

For kids who love over-the-top humor

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