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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Robozuna is an action-adventure series about a young teen and his homemade robot who team up with their friends to battle a powerful empire that controls their nation. The show's action, which plays out between robots in a no-holds-barred competitive sport called Robozuna and between humans in the political uprising, is intense at times and involves weapons that emit electric shock, explosions, and brawls between sympathetic robot characters. People live under constant threat of being captured or hurt by the empirical forces. On the other hand, it's an arena that makes heroes of average people willing to stand up to injustice and persevere through adversity, which is exactly what the main characters do. Because of the intensity of the story, this series is better suited for tweens than for younger kids.
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What's the story?
ROBOZUNA is the story of an orphaned teen named Ariston (voiced by Taylor Clarke-Hill) who, by a series of lucky accidents, realizes his dream of participating in the exceedingly competitive sport Robozuna with his robot, Mangle, and finds himself in the middle of an uprising against his home's oppressive regime. Ariston and his adoptive parent figure, Feronia (Larissa Murray), are drillers who mine and distribute machine juice, making them outlaws wanted by the Corvus Empire. As they try to stay one step ahead of the empirical henchmen tracking them, Ariston gets distracted by a chance at joining Team Verdus in the Robozuna circuit. When Feronia is captured and taken to prison, Ariston and his new friends band together to help her and stage a coup against Corvus in the process.
Is it any good?
It's easy to like Ariston and his fellow underdog freedom fighters as they stand up to a powerful empirical body that wields power by intimidation and brute force. Their story isn't a unique premise for an action-adventure saga, actually bearing strong resemblance to the Star Wars setup in the interplay between the humans and robot characters as well as the matchup between a formidable empire and a ragtag group of rebels who refuse to give up. Even so, this battle between good and evil has intriguing characters on both sides of the ideological divide and some mysterious story elements that entice viewers to return for the answers in successive episodes.
Robozuna's action plays out in some very physical exchanges between combatabots on the competition field, which are more impactful than you might expect because of the robots' personalities. What violence involves humans is intense at times, and there are times when it's presumed secondary characters are killed. Though Ariston and his friends generally emerge unscathed, their plight puts them in constant danger of capture or worse, and there's a pervasive sense of peril that might worry sensitive kids.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how Robozuna distinguishes between the "good" characters and the "bad" ones. Are there visual cues to suggest what side of the battle they are on? Do any of them seem to play both sides or otherwise keep their true allegiance a mystery? Is not understanding a person's intent something that can cause problems in the real world?
What character strengths do you see in Ariston and his fellow Freebot Fighters as they take on Corvus? What accounts for their ability to persevere even when things look hopeless? Who among them shows impressive courage? Are their actions heroic?
In what ways does the action contribute to this show in positive ways? Would it be as enjoyable a watch if there was less physical violence or danger? Is any of this content upsetting at any point? What types of content are difficult for you to watch?
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