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 the content in this animated incarnation of the famous ghoulish family is a bit of a mixed bag. The characters teach viewers not to fear or mock people who are different than they are -- but, on the other hand, their actions (and their house itself) can be scary and gruesome.
What's the story?
The animated version of THE ADDAMS FAMILY, which originally aired in the early '90s (and still runs in repeats in syndication), closely mirrors the original live-action sitcom from the '60s, as well as the 1991 big-screen version (which likely inspired the timing of the cartoon series). The show follows the animated adventures of a silly-yet-gruesome family composed of vamps and Frankenstein look-alikes who have a spare body part as a pet. Living happily in a deserted museum, this eclectic bunch is ironically oblivious to how other people view them. Devoted couple Gomez (voiced by original Addams star John Astin) and Morticia (Nancy Linari) preside over a houseful that includes grim daughter Wednesday (Debi Derryberry), mischievous son Pugsley (Jeannie Elias), imposing butler Lurch (Jim Cummings), hairy Cousin Itt (Pat Fraley), bald Uncle Fester (Rip Taylor), and -- of course -- Granny (Carol Channing).
Is it any good?
Parents might want to keep an eye out for mild stereotypes and name calling (particularly between the siblings) and Morticia's body-hugging attire. And some of the, um, unique features of the Addamses' lifestyle (that disembodied hand running around, the ghouls who pop up everywhere) may be a little scary for sensitive kids, even in cartoon form.
That said, while the occasional gag may cause some raised eyebrows, this is a darkly funny series that will definitely help kids grasp the concept that it's OK to be different -- a message that's most apparent when Uncle Fester sings cabaret numbers like "I'm Still Me."
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about being different. What does it mean when someone labels a person as "different"? Is it good or bad to be different? Is there a difference between being unique and being weird? How are the Addamses different from other families? Is their family weird or unique -- or both?
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