The Amazing World of Gumball

 
Colorful cartoon is full of silly laughs and scrapes.

What parents need to know

Educational value

The show intends to entertain rather than to educate. 

Positive messages

Gumball’s penchant for trouble offers plenty of opportunity to learn lessons, but overall he’s oblivious to the repercussions of his actions and never suffers because of them. Gross-out humor is common and includes vomiting and the idea of eating food that’s been chewed and spit out. The show emphasizes gender roles in the home, with the mom doing the lion's share of the housework even though she's also the breadwinner.

Positive role models

Gumball’s father is a mostly out-of-touch stay-at-home dad, leaving most of the housekeeping and child-rearing duties to his wife, who's also the breadwinner. Gumball's mother often responds to stress by punching walls and breaking things. Gumball tries to fix his own messes rather than asking his parents for help, but he usually winds up making things worse in the process.

Violence & scariness

Characters are impervious to cartoon-style accidents like falling from the sky and landing face-first on concrete. Although it’s intended to be funny, there’s some slapping, punching, and kicking among siblings, and their mom responds to stress by punching through walls and breaking household objects.

Sexy stuff

Gumball’s dad occasionally walks around in his underwear, which shows some of his butt when he bends over. Some storylines revolve around crushes or boyfriend/girlfriend dynamics.

Language

Occasional use of "butt." 

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that absurdity is a constant in this unpredictable cartoon about a mischievous boy and his willing goldfish-turned-sibling accomplice. The show's colorful animation and unusual characters will make an impression on viewers, and the exaggerated troubles that Gumball finds himself in may be relatable to kids' experiences with handling responsibility and following directions. Most of the violence is pretty unrealistic (surviving a fall from the sky, for instance), and Mom herself turns to smashing and punching things when tension’s at a breaking point, which is often. That said, the young characters' attempts to mend the scrapes they find themselves in and the show's overall wacky view of the world -- and the unique people in it -- are sure to garner some chuckles.

What's the story?

THE AMAZING WORLD OF GUMBALL centers on the misadventures of a 12-year-old cat named Gumball (voiced by Logan Grove), for whom chaos at home is nothing compared to the scrapes he can conjure up for fun. Accompanied by his good friend and former goldfish, Darwin (Kwesi Boakye) -- who shocked the Watterson family by sprouting legs and moving in with the family as an honorary kid -- and his genius younger sister, Anais (Kyla Rae Kowalewski), Gumball is never lacking big ideas for fixing the problems he finds himself in. But even when he's patched things up as best he can, he's still got to own up to his shenanigans to his frazzled mom, Nicole (Teresa Gallagher).

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Full of quirky characters (peanuts and bananas, for starters) and a lot of over-the-top humor, Gumball's world is a place where kids' wildest imaginings will likely come to pass. Usually it's his good intentions that get him into trouble, and his subsequent attempts to fix the problem actually wind up forcing him into a deeper hole, a situation that some viewers can probably sympathize with. Kids will see the humor in Gumball's failed efforts -- like trying to pass off a cardboard DVD replica as one he ruined from a rental store -- but the fact that the learning process usually is lost on him means there aren't any real lessons to be found here.

Expect some of the typical gross-out humor (puking and the like) that's guaranteed to keep kids' interest and some fairly frequent cartoony violence (punching, kicking, extreme accidents) with little real-world effect. If parents tune in, they'll notice another layer of humor aimed at the family dynamics, with the mom filling the roles of both breadwinner and housekeeper and the dad amounting to very little. Unfortunately her work overload sometimes means she's stressed to the max and resorts to shouting and punching walls, but in calmer moments, her kids are her world.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about comedy. Do you find this show funny? What parts of it do you like the most? How does the animation style contribute to the comedy? Which characters strike you as the funniest? Why?

  • Kids: How do you handle stress? What kinds of things stress you out the most? How does stress affect your body and mind? How does it impact your ability to do well in school or participate in extracurricular activities? What coping techniques exist to help?

  • Kids: What are your family’s rules about watching TV? Do you have daily or weekly time limits? How do you know if a show is appropriate for you? Why do your parents establish these rules? What are some activities you enjoy besides watching TV?

TV details

Cast:Kwesi Boakye, Logan Grove, Teresa Gallagher
Network:Cartoon Network
Genre:Kids' Animation
Topics:Adventures, Book characters
TV rating:TV-Y7-FV
Available on:Streaming

This review of The Amazing World of Gumball was written by

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Parent Written byrendarsmith November 1, 2011
age 18+
 

Needs positive male role model, none to be found here

This show is repulsive! The father figure in this show is a complete joke! He treated more like a pet, looks like a buffoon, and serves no purpose in the family whatsoever. Why this is in a children's cartoon is beyond me. I don't know how kids can grow up to respect their fathers or how boys can grow up to take the father's role seriously when they are seeing stuff like this on TV. I have forbidden my son from watching this show for this reason. This has to stop!
Parent of a 7 and 10 year old Written byjpmemom May 18, 2013
age 18+
 

Garbage t.v.

I am so sick of these garbage shows they put on for kids to watch. There is so much more that kids need to learn and see. Shouldn't we try to better kids and not set bad examples? The writers and producers need to be more responsible.
Parent of a 13 and 13 year old Written byLunarautumn March 9, 2013
age 18+
 

This cartoon has Nothing to offer a child

I see nothing this could teach a child What happened to teaching children a positive message The father is a babbling Idiot who lies to his wife about checking on the children in this episode saying they are fine while to busy playing a video game to actually look, while the kids are being chased by a robot that is trying to kill them. The mother has major anger issues resorting to punching and breaking things. Gumball consistently does not listen and gets himself and goldfish brother in trouble, and just can not seem to make a right decision to get himself and brother out of trouble.and why would they put a box of pix elation around his private parts why even draw attention to this area by doing this is this an attempt to say these areas of the body are bad? there are plenty of cartoons that do not have clothes but they do not blur out nothing because it is where a human would have their private parts I fell this cartoon has nothing to offer a young impressionable mind
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing

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