What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that although this series focuses on an ongoing war between the Spider Riders and evil mutant insects called the Invectid, it's all lighthearted fun. The teenage warriors model positive behavior by taking on the huge responsibility of defending their land -- and working together to do so -- and the evil characters are non-threatening to the point of being comical at times. Obviously, there are plenty of insects, so it might not be the best choice for bug-phobic kids.
What's the story?
SPIDER RIDERS follows the adventures of 13-year-old Hunter Steele after a strange sequence of events lands him in the fantastic \"inner world\" of Arachna. There he meets a small group of young warriors who call themselves the Spider Riders -- because they partner with humongous spiders during battle -- and joins their fight to save the land from the evil Invectid, a band of giant insect mutants. Although he's a little clueless, the skills needed to be a great warrior seem to come naturally to Hunter. He must also form a trusting relationship with his battle spider, Shadow. Hunter's lovely friend Corona coaches him on everything Spider Rider, including how to summon his \"Arachna-power.\" She also keeps Hunter focused; as a typical teenage boy from the normal \"outer world,\" Hunter understandably has a bit of trouble shifting his focus from food and pretty girls to the important tasks at hand.
Is it any good?
Spider Riders is sure to captivate the tween set with its compelling mix of action, fantasy, sci-fi, and comedy, with elements of everyday teen life thrown in to keep the story ever so slightly grounded in reality. Some of the dialogue may seem a bit silly and stilted, but the story is engaging, the action/battle sequences are entertaining, and the animation is dazzlingly colorful.
Overall, the series is lighthearted fun, with teens portrayed in a positive light as caring and responsible human beings. Even the evil insects -- one of whom actually sounds like Jerry Lewis at his slapsticky best -- are fairly non-threatening and provide some unexpected humor here and there. Kids who are bug-phobic might not be the series' biggest fans, but those who love fantasy cartoons and anime should enjoy it.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the changes Hunter must deal with as he adjusts to his new life as a Spider Rider. How does he react to becoming a Spider Rider? Is he daunted by the prospect or excited? Do you think he really knows what's involved, or is he in for some big surprises? How does he handle his new powers? How would you feel if you were suddenly thrown into a strange land and had to adjust to a whole new life -- and, on top of that, were given special powers to help defend the land?