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 Aquabats! Super Show! is a high-energy blend of campy superhero shows (think old-school Batman) and modern kids' shows, which means a lot of eye-candy, noise, absurdity, and a surprising number of rather intense images that make this a bit of a gamble for younger viewers. The Aquabats are presented as superheroes, always battling one enemy or another; the battle scenes and cartoonish violence the bad guys deal out may be disturbing for the sensitive. But kids made of sterner stuff will love the high level of sheer ridiculousness. The Aquabats themselves are bouncy and fun, rather older and larger than most heroes, wear silly-fun costumes, and are equipped with weird gadgetry that techno kids will enjoy. Their adventures have a silly, surreal touch that may remind parents of The Monkees.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Somewhere in Southern California, evil springs anew. The only ones who can stop it? The Aquabats, the world's greatest rock 'n' roll band and stars of THE AQUABATS! SUPER SHOW! In his drawn-on mustache and blacked-out teeth, MC Bat Commander (Christian Jacobs, creator of Yo Gabba Gabba!) is the leader of a posse consisting of Crash McLarson (Chad Larson), who grows up to 50 feet in size when he gets upset; Jimmy the Robot (James Briggs), an all-knowing automaton who can shoot laser beams; Ricky Fitness (Richard Falomir), who's super fast; and Eagle "Bones" Falconhawk (Ian Fowles), who can fly with the help of his invisible bird, Dude. Togther, the Aquabats vanquish crime in both live-action and animated shorts, play music, and occasionally sit down for some relaxing television, which usually features a commercial parody.
Is it any good?
Demented and manic, The Aquabats! Super Show! is fun by sheer dint of how many jokes, visual and otherwise, are thrown at the screen, both those calculated to appeal to kids (tight blue superhero duds), and adults (Rip Taylor shows up at one point as a genie). It's certainly a lot less violent than other live-action superhero fantasies that might appeal to kids, and it's a lot sillier: It never appears as though the Aquabats are in any real danger; everything is kept light and fun.
Nonetheless, a few random violent images may freak kids out. At one point, for example, Crash is entrapped by a giant man-ant who jams a faucet into the side of his head and turns it on to collect his "grow juice." In another segment, Jimmy the Robot's arm is ripped off by a monstrous ant. Older kids will laugh at this, but it's nightmare-bait for younger sibs.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the Aquabats' super powers and how the powers help the Aquabats fight crime. What powers do you have that help you power through your problems? What super powers would you like to have?
Why are there no women in the Aquabats? Are women usually in rock bands? Why or why not? Can you think of any bands that are all women? What about all men? What about those that are both men and women?
The Aquabats do things that aren't really possibly, like hurtling through space without breathing gear. Why do you think TV shows picture things that people won't or can't do in real life?
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