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Superman: The Animated Series
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The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Superman: The Animated Series is a mature, serious take on the Man of Steel. Although not quite as dark as other DC Comics spin-offs -- such as Batman Beyond and Justice League -- this adaptation still has its share of edgier content, including some innuendoes and violence.
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What's the story?
SUPERMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES recounts the adventures of Krypton and Metropolis' favorite son: Superman (aka Clark Kent). Originally broadcast on The WB from 1996-2000, the series still runs in repeats and is available on DVD; the strong voiceover cast includes Timothy Daly as Superman/Clark Kent, Dana Delaney as Lois Lane, and Clancy Brown as Lex Luthor. Superman: The Animated Series features classic good vs. evil storylines that explore all aspects of the hero's history, including Clark Kent's working relationship with fellow reporter Lois Lane and Superman's deadly vulnerability to Kryptonite. The series also delves deeply into the sagas that take place on the planet Krypton and spotlights classic villains like Brainiac and Lex Luthor, who seek vengeance on Metropolis and the Man of Steel.
Is it any good?
Overall, though Superman is a strong role model, there are a few red flags to watch out for in this show. Although blood isn't shed very often, fistfights and death are equal in ratio to happy endings in Superman: The Animated Series. There's some slight sexual innuendo, mainly in the form of the female characters' attire and body language. Speaking of language, the dialogue is clean, although the humor is a little dry and could easily sail over a kid's head.
That being said, Superman's character symbolizes nobility in our popular culture, and he's always defending the greater good. Most notably, he has an extraordinarily high level of integrity -- he doesn't resort to physical harm unless he absolutely has to (definitely a good example for kids!).
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about heroism in Superman: The Animated Series. What makes Superman heroic? Does he fight for the greater good? Who's your favorite super hero? How can someone without special powers be a hero?
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