What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that when he's angry, Robotboy's arms transform into guns, and he shoots robotic enemies in defense of his friends. The Japanese villain and his servant are portrayed as bumbling fools with exaggerated accents. While teamwork and friendship are embedded in the moral of each episode, the lessons are overshadowed by the show's action.
What's the story?
Created by Professor Moshimo, ROBOTBOY is an android prototype so special that he would likely be extremely valuable to evildoers. Realizing the danger to his invention, the professor sends Robotboy to live with Tommy Turnbull, who will show him what life is like as a true boy. Tommy and his friends, Gus and Lola, face challenges typical of kids their age: bullying, teasing, name-calling. However, the trio must also combat the constant efforts of the evil Dr. Kamikazi and his servant, Constantine, who are bent on using Robotboy to help them take over the world. The kids rely on teamwork and Robotboy's Incredible Hulk-like transformation (he changes into a gun-armed dynamo when he gets mad) to escape Dr. Kamikazi and foil his plans.
Is it any good?
Kids may relate to the friendship among Tommy, Lola, and Gus, and will enjoy watching the trio scheme to defeat the bad guys. (Relationships within the trio are complicated by the fact that Gus relentlessly teases Tommy and Lola for being boyfriend and girlfriend, which they vehemently deny.) The show also offers some gross-out moments, which are always hits with kids, if repulsive to adults. One example: When Kamikazi has a cold, viewers get to watch his nasal secretions in action.
Bottom line: With its monotonous plotlines and a villain whose common sense is questionable, Robotboy is a mediocre choice. Even though his shooting targets are strictly inanimate, the fact that, in anger, Robotboy becomes a walking machine gun should concern parents.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about how working with others can help overcome challenges. Families also might discuss the villains and what makes them appear evil. Do they look or sound scary? What makes them seem more dangerous than gun-shooting Robotboy? Families also could talk about the dynamics within the circles of friends. Is it OK for Gus to tease Tommy and Lola about something they say isn't true?