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 this cartoon moves at a frantic pace and features loud exchanges between its two main characters, one of whom aims to destroy the other. Parents might not be thrilled to hear their kids emulating some of the show’s language (mostly name-calling like “jerk” and “creep,” as well as other general put-downs and terms like “shut up”) or a main character’s manipulative control over his assistants. On the bright side, though, the series emphasizes positive themes for kids about personal safety and interpersonal relationships.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
In THE ADVENTURES OF SONIC THE HEDGEHOG, a speedy blue hedgehog named Sonic (voiced by Jaleel White) and his best friend, Tails (Christopher Evan Welch), team up to undo the evil plans of the nefarious Doctor Ivo Robotnik (Long John Baldry), who’s bent on controlling the planet Mobius. Robotnik will stop at nothing to accomplish his goal, and when Sonic stands in his way, he and he incompetent minions, Scratch (Phil Hayes) and Grounder (Gary Chalk), cook up some outrageous schemes to neutralize him, but the young heroes always manage to unravel their plans.
Is it any good?
Sonic made his TV debut in the early ‘90s, shortly after the advent of the Sega video game on which the show was loosely based. The series itself is full of the zany mischief kids love in cartoons, and parents will notice that it does strive harder than most of its modern-day peers to drive home positive messages about responsibility, personal safety, and other age-appropriate issues. Another bonus? There's little fear of commercial tie-ins since the show is nearly two decades old.
The show’s slapstick style lends itself to plenty of comical accidents like getting flattened by a steamroller or falling down an embankment, but in true cartoon fashion, injuries are rare. Parents’ biggest beef with the show is likely to be the language, which is peppered with name-calling (“jerk,” “meathead,” “brat”) and other demeaning terms, as well as “shut up” and “hate.” While it doesn’t necessarily cross any lines, it’s probably not the type of stuff you want your kids repeating on a regular basis.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about heroes. How do you define a hero? What job does a person have to do to earn that distinction? Do heroes have to be perfect?
Kids: Who are your favorite cartoon characters? What personality traits do you like in them? Do you think it’s their intention to teach you something? If so, what?
Which of your favorite characters have you also seen on products like games, snacks, and clothing? Does seeing a familiar character on these items make you more inclined to want them?