TV review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Robotech TV Poster Image
'80s action toon still entertains with intricate storyline.

Parents say

age 9+
Based on 4 reviews

Kids say

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

This series intends to entertain rather than to educate.

Positive Messages

The show celebrates ingenuity and creative problem-solving through characters who thrive on the challenges of war. Personal differences exist among the characters, but they're not enough to keep men and women from banding together against a common foe. There's not always a clear distinction between good and evil.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Rick isn't looking to be a hero, but when he's thrust into a difficult position, he rises to the occasion. What's more, he never departs from his value system, despite the rigors of battle, and he's always looking out for those around him. As a whole, female characters prove to be unflappable under pressure.

Violence & Scariness

Explosions, missile strikes, and gunfire in battle scenes. Space craft plummet from the sky, and some characters die, though nothing graphic is show. Others suffer serious injuries (again minimal on the details) and wind up in the hospital. Hostage situations and suspected abductions at the hands of the aliens could be upsetting to young kids.

Sexy Stuff

Romantic relationships are explored, and there's some contact between partners. Physical attraction is expressed in men's glances at women's butts, for instance. In the remastered version of the series, some rare nudity is shown (women's breasts).


No cursing , but occasional name-calling like "idiot."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Rarely men smoke pipes. It's said that some characters (including women) party late into the night.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Robotech is an '80s cartoon that centers on a war between humans and alien invaders, so many scenes feature battles fought in the sky and on the ground. Explosions, missile attacks, downed aircraft, and demolished buildings are some of the violence you'll see, and characters are injured or killed, though not graphically. Despite the persistent sense of doom concerning threats to Earth's survival, the heroes' storylines are filled with hope in the forms of budding romance, rekindled relationships, and a sense that they're fighting for the common good. The show's mature themes about good and evil, betrayal, and oppression are better suited to older viewers, but kids will enjoy the stories even if this content is over their heads. Note: The 2006 "remastered" version of the show available via some sources includes additional scenes that contain some pretty incongruous nudity in some episodes (for example, a woman taking a shower is shown from the back, skirts flipping up, etc.) which makes the show much less appropriate for young kids. 

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 8-year-old Written bySpyraker June 12, 2019

Stellar animated series that doesn’t talk down to kids.

Watching this growing up with my family was a real event.
It was taped (on a VHS) whenever it was on and I owned those tapes for years until the DVD’s hit the s... Continue reading
Adult Written byBig-Brother February 25, 2017

For mature tweens and up to watch with parents.

Even though this series may look like your typical 80's Saturday morning cartoon, it contains strong war and political themes, and other mature themes incl... Continue reading

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

What's the story?

When an abandoned alien spacecraft crashes on Earth, it puts an end to a raging world war and diverts peoples' attention to studying and replicating the cutting-edge technology -- called Robotechnology -- within it. Ten years later, the starship is up and running again, as is a new arsenal of transformative aircraft built by humans using this new technology. But when an alien race called Zentraedi invades the planet in an attempt to retrieve the ship, Earth is drawn into yet another war, this time against multiple intergalactic enemies with agendas of their own. The ROBOTECH series chronicles three successive wars against invading species, each one looking to annihilate Earth and dominate a valuable energy source called \"protoculture.\"

Is it any good?

This mid-'80s cartoon, which was one of the first to introduce anime to the U.S., is a fun departure from today's offerings, despite the fairly simplistic animation and graphics one would expect from a 25-year-old show. It blends action, drama, romance, and even comedy, creating a truly pleasant and intriguing evolving story that will maintain kids' attention from one episode to the next. Narration at the start and end of each segment helps bring viewers up to speed on what's going on as well, which is helpful given the intricacies of its plot.

For a tale so rooted in battles and war, Robotech's violence isn't the mindless shoot-'em-ups you might expect. Yes, planes are shot down and buildings collapse, and people do die, but this content isn't the show's most noticeable feature. What's more prominent is a thoughtful story about good and evil, human ingenuity, and the irresistible draw of a race of underdogs refusing to submit to an oppressive force. It's heady stuff that some kids won't quite get, but its cross-generational appeal gives it a fighting chance among its modern counterparts.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how this show's brand of violence stacks up to what we see in modern shows and movies like Transformers. How much does the animation or graphics style influence how the fighting affects us? Do you think any amount of it is too much for some viewers?

  • Is this series intended for kids? What aspects of the story might not be right for very young kids?

  • A common theme in this series is what defines a hero. What characters emerge as heroes? Who are your heroes? What traits are most attractive to you in a role model?

TV details

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For kids who love cartoons

Themes & Topics

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