The Avengers

Obscure superhero team will thrill comic-book junkies.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The Avengers are loyal and supportive, but they're action heroes, and so action -- read "violence" -- is the solution to every external conflict.

Violence & scariness

The show is based on a Marvel comic, and it's violent. That said, sci-fi laser guns prevail, and no character ever dies (although one is frozen in a Lenin-esque tomb for some time) -- but the risk of death is always present. More potentially bothersome for kids is that the characters are aware of this risk, and they fear it.

Sexy stuff

There's a romantic attachment between Scarlet Witch and Wonder Man, but it isn't sexual.

Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that while this animated series isn't as dark as something like the modern TV Batman, it's not the Superfriends you remember, either. The violence is bigger and better animated, and everything moves more quickly -- but what young kids and new-to-action cartoon viewers may find really worrying is that these characters feel fear, both for themselves and for one another, and it comes across in their voices. That makes watching this show a little more powerful than some of its peers.

What's the story?

THE AVENGERS follows little-known Marvel Comics heroes The Wasp (voiced by Linda Ballantyne), Wonder Man (Hamish McEwan), Tigra (Lenore Zann), Hawkeye (Tony Daniels), and Scarlet Witch (Stavroula Logothettis) as they battle equally obscure foes with names like Grim Reaper and Ultron (John Stocker). The characters work as a team, rallying around the battle cry "Avengers Assemble!" Stories carry over from one episode to the next, so kids watching episodes out of order may be surprised to see Wonder Man imprisoned and powerless in one episode, fine in the next, and then powerless again. Characters don armor before battles in what appears to be a nod to The Transformers and its ilk.

Is it any good?


The show's cast and the writing are better than its animation, so the emotion-filled adventures sometimes feel superimposed over generic action figures that could have been taken from any late-'90s superhero cartoon. Kids will be caught up by the team's apparent attachment to one another -- which is more interesting than the villains -- and by ongoing plots like the transformation of Vision (a robotic humanoid incapable of emotion) into a caring team member. Battles are exciting, and injuries are possible, making it seem like this crew has more skin in the game than some of the unstoppable heroes many kids start out watching.

Overall, while The Avengers isn't as well done (or dark) as the most recent versions of either Spider-Man or Batman, it's an entertaining option for older grade schoolers and tweens hungry for more superhero adventure. Just know that if they get into the cartoon now, chances are they're going to be agitating to see what's sure to be as dark and violent a superhero flick as Hollywood can come up with when the Avengers movie comes out in 2011.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about why shows like this one -- which originally aired in the late '90s -- sometimes end up getting rebroadcast years later. In this case, there's an Avengers movie scheduled a few years down the line; do you think that's behind this show's resurrection? Why? Families can also talk about what makes this show different from other superhero cartoons. Kids: Which is your favorite? Why?

TV details

Cast:John Stocker, Linda Ballantyne, Tony Daniels
Network:Disney XD
Genre:Kids' Animation
TV rating:TV-Y7-FV

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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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Parent of a 8 and 13 year old Written byswissmoon June 28, 2012
age 11+


Ok for 11 and up.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much consumerism
Teen, 14 years old Written bymkalv February 5, 2009
age 7+

Ended way too soon!

This series was awesome for its time. I guess the ratings were bad, but did they have to cancel this show? I liked it a lot!


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