What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that the content in this classic early-'70s cartoon series is squeaky clean, with the exception of a bit of Asian stereotyping (a reflection of the series' age and original cultural context). Although the show is suitable for all ages, younger children might lose interest after awhile because the segments in each episode tend to be longer than those in contemporary cartoons.
What's the story?
Putting an Asian-American spin on Scooby-Doo, THE AMAZING CHAN AND THE CHAN CLAN chronicles the adventures of global detective Charlie Chan (voiced by Keye Luke). With the help of his 10 children (daughter Anne is voiced by Jodie Foster), Charlie solves mysteries all over the world. The older Chan kids -- like the Partridges -- are also in a band together, and in every episode they sing a catchy song, usually about peace, love, and working together.
Is it any good?
Family values are a crucial element of the show. All 10 of the Chan kids get along well and work beautifully as a team -- sibling rivalry doesn't really exist in this series. The kids also show a lot of respect for the older generation; even though they're mystery solvers in the making, all 10 of them are well aware that their father knows best. In fact, whenever the kids try to tackle a case on their own, they usually make a wrong turn -- and in the end it's Charlie who figures things out.
The only thing to watch out for is some stereotyping, which unfortunately reflects the show's early-'70s origins (it still airs in repeats). Some of the series' villains run around wearing masks and screaming in a choppy dialect. Parents could use this as an opportunity to clarify what really constitutes Chinese cultural traditions and customs. And the music is a nice touch for kids who might not have the attention span to sit through the show's 20-minute-long mysteries.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about problem-solving techniques. What are the necessary steps to take in order to solve a problem? What is a detective? How do the members of the Chan Clan solve problems? Are they good detectives? Is the Chan siblings' good relationship realistic? Can you imagine always getting along with your own sibling(s)?