Super Wings

TV review by Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Super Wings Poster Image

Common Sense says

age 3+

Friendly planes' world travels teach kids multiculturalism.

Parents say

age 2+

Based on 36 reviews

Kids say

age 3+

Based on 5 reviews

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Community Reviews

age 2+

Not Deserving of the Hate

I think some parents who are giving this show such bad reviews need a little perspective. There are some exceptions though. If you are a parent and you are just annoyed by the character's inflection and voices, it is what it is. You can't help it if you're annoyed by something. But many of the complaints are unfounded. I've read things like "the planes make it from one end of the world to another too quickly" or "the parents let total strangers watch their children". But those reviews claiming the show is unrealistic never seem to mention the fact that it's about anthropomorphic airplanes. Even my wife said, "why do the kids always hang out with the plane?" To which I replied, "Because it's a giant talking robot?!" It's called suspension of disbelief, a trait that children have in spades, and many adults have all but lost. I can't imagine watching a cartoon about talking robot airplanes and not liking it because "there's no way a prop plane should be able to keep up with a super sonic jet in real life!" Reality check, friend - this isn't real life. I grew up watching a cartoon about mutated turtles who learned martial arts from a rat, and whose best friend was a news anchor. Talk about realistic. The other aspect of the show that I see being attacked is that it's not educational enough. Let's look at this with some perspective. The show is not designed to be educational. TV is not meant to teach children, but it can do a great job at exposing and creating interest and curiosity. I think that's the point. At dinner the other night, my son just turned to me and said "konichiwa". He's 2. He didn't remember what it meant, but it opened an opportunity for us to have a conversation. I can't imagine being able to just talk to my son about Japanese culture without an entry point, and the show provides that. It has been mentioned that the show does employ cultural stereotypes, but I think that's only a problem if it's done poorly or portrays characters in a negative way because of that stereotype. If the show had one culture shown as being lazy and another as being uneducated, that would be a real problem. That's not what it does. I recently watched the episode about a Russian girl practicing for her ballet recital. Yes, it might be a stereotype that ballet is big in Russia. The difference is that the show highlights the girl's interest in ballet, and shows it in a positive light. It values that aspect of the culture, not detracts from it. Not to mention that my 2 year old boy was riveted by the recital. That's a win in my book. Super Wings exposes children to the IDEA that there is a bigger world out there with cultures and interests that are different than your own. He's only really showed interest in 2 other shows; Blippi and Bob the Builder. Blippi tries to be educational and does a good job at times, but so much of the show just involves Blippi playing around and not really doing anything. Bob the Builder has good lessons in it, but I wouldn't say there's really any educational value, unless you're learning about tools. I am an elementary social studies teacher. Do you have any idea how little children know about the rest of the world? This is not an indictment on the educational system. Most world history and geography comes after elementary. But I can't even tell you how many students I've had in 5th grade who think the US is the only country in North America. This show won't change that, not without a little help from parents, which I'm happy to provide for my son. We talk about the cultures that interested him, the landmarks, foods, sports, activities, and so on. We research them online and he loves to see pictures of what those places look like in real life. Did I ever think the two of us would be researching the Belgian town squares by choice? And enjoying it? As a father, who is also a teacher, and a minority in the US, I accept that this show is not perfect or the ideal program for a 2 year old. But it's beneficial, presents other cultures in a positive light, and piques children's interest in other countries. Did I mention that my child LOVES the show? After an episode, he gets his toys and pretends to deliver packages around the house. It's a great show, and I give it all the stars for the opportunities it presents.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
age 3+

Good program for my 4 year okd

It’s a great show for a little kid interested in action hero’s. Nothing scary except my son did not like the volcano. But a great program with a perfect length of time.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models

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