What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that there's plenty of cartoon violence in this animated series, including gun use, bombs, and use of fire to destry entire city blocks. While the main characters can join forces and transform into a robot-like being that's mostly immune to enemy onslaughts, since the battles often take place in an urban setting, human casualties are presumed (but they're not shown). Violence aside, the show does have some notable positives, mostly associated with Ilana, the role model-worthy main female character. Her desire to assimilate among her human counterparts -- and to protect and unify them -- offers some strong messages about respecting others and considering their needs ahead of your own.
What's the story?
When the peaceful existence of the planet Galaluna comes under attack from the power-hungry General Modula (voiced by Don Leslie), the king sends his daughter, Princess Ilana (Tara Strong), away for her safety. Accompanied by her protector, Lance (Kevin Thoms), and an adaptable android named Octus (Brian Posehn), Ilana lands on Earth and attempts to blend into her surroundings. Once Modula locates her landing site, he sends his minions to Earth after her, but she, Lance, and Octus don their Galalunan battle gear -- in which they can join forces as the power Titan -- to protect themselves and their new human neighbors.
Is it any good?
SYM-BIONIC TITAN chronicles a battle of large-scale proportions, so it's no surprise that violence in many forms (guns, tanks, bombs, etc.) is commonplace. Human destruction is implied in scenes where city buildings are leveled or burned, but no injuries or death are shown on a personal level. The show centers on outsiders trying to navigate the uncertainties of teen life, so things like dating, social castes (jocks, geeks, popularity queens), and fashion are exaggerated for humor.
On a positive note, there's a gentle side to the show that sets it apart from many action-adventure cartoons for kids. While Lance is brash and balks at assimilating into high school, Ilana welcomes the challenge and tries to unify what she sees as a divided population. Her strong character and protective instinct for her new human peers make her a likable heroine and give the show a surprising softness that offsets the violence.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about leadership. What does it take to be a good leader? What attributes are important? Do you enjoy being a leader?
Tweens: How does this series compare to others like it that you've seen? Were the characters any more or less believable than others? What are some of your favorite action-adventure shows?
Did the amount or intensity of violence in this show surprise you? Did any of it strike you as realistic? What effect do you think TV violence has on kids?