A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Super 4 is an entertaining CGI series that doubles as a lengthy commercial for Playmobil toys and play sets. Action sequences occasionally involve some swordplay and jousting, but no one is wounded, and there's always an air of comedy to the exchanges. The four heroes are very different from one another, but friendship, cooperation, and problem-solving skills make them a unified force against bad guys. Though Ruby the Pirate is a great role model, sometimes fairy Twinkle comes across as flighty and dim, expressing confusion over big words and mismanaging her magic, for example. Because of Playmobil's long history and the show's sly writing, parents who grew up playing with the toys themselves will enjoy this lively, comical series almost as much as their kids will.
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What's the story?
SUPER 4 follows four heroes -- Alex the Knight, Twinkle the Fairy, Ruby the Pirate, and Agent Gene -- as they move among islands in their world, fighting villains and restoring peace to the different populations of residents. Traveling in their adaptable vehicle, the Chameleon, the Super 4 fend off medieval warriors in Kingsland, match wits with geniuses in Technopolis, and battle scallywags on Gunpowder Island, all the while having fun in each other's company.
Is it any good?
Super 4 is a fun-filled action-adventure series inspired by the popular Playmobil toy brand. Vibrant CGI brings to life four delightfully disparate characters in Gene, Ruby, Twinkle, and Alex, who manage to prove time and again that there's great strength in the fact that they're so vastly different from each other. When the villains they face threaten to undo them, these four heroes put their heads together and concoct a plan to save the day, and when that doesn't work (as is typically the case), they go back to the drawing board. Often their failures are the result of one character or another's impulsivity, reminding youngsters of the value of cooperation and trusting your friends.
But Super 4 won't make fans only among its target demographic of kids. Parents who grew up playing with Playmobil toy sets will enjoy the show nearly as much, thanks to witty writing and the sense of nostalgia the cupped-hand characters foster. The show's multiple settings and themed characters make for some fun crossover plots in which pirates encounter dinosaurs and a medieval knight faces off with aliens. Of course, this also will help sell Playmobil merchandise, but as marketing entertainment goes, it's a fun one to watch.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the nature of advertising. Does watching this series make you want to play with toys that look like the characters and sets? To what extent do you think this is an intention of the show? Why is it fun to own clothing and accessories with characters' images on them?
What common goal do the Super 4 heroes have? Is it enough to help them overcome what makes them different from each other? Do you find the same to be true in your relationships with your peers?
Kids: If you could add an island or two to the characters' world, what would it be? Who would live there? What kind of villain would exist? Do you enjoy playing make-believe?
Our editors recommend
For kids who love make-believe adventures
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