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 fun, zany classic kids' series doesn't pretend to have any educational objectives -- it's all about entertainment. Overall, the characters are enjoyable, and there's not really any offensive content, but the show lacks structure.
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What's the story?
THE BANANA SPLITS AND FRIENDS SHOW is a very '60s mix of live action and animation. During their original TV run from 1968-1970, the four wacky Splits -- Fleegle, a beagle (voiced by Paul Winchell); Bingo, a gorilla (Daws Butler); Drooper, a lion (Allan Melvin); and Snorky, an elephant (Don Messick) -- were considered The Beatles (or maybe The Monkees...) of kids' TV, with hits like "The Tra La La Song," "Wait Till Tomorrow," and "Long Live Love." When the Splits aren't singing, they're often driving around in go-carts and challenging their rivals, The Sour Grapes. They also take breaks to show some cartoons -- popular segments included Danger Island and The Arabian Nights.
Is it any good?
This series is no Baby Einstein, but it's a lot of fun, and it does expose kids to music -- which is always a good thing. In fact, one of the show's most endearing elements is its music. All of the songs are optimistic; many are about love. Kids will want to jam to the bubblegum pop, and parents will appreciate the late-'60s hippie flavor. It's worth noting that the show does have a rather psychedelic backdrop, and the influences of the late '60 are very evident.
Since it has so many different segments, the show changes gears all the time, which sometimes makes it feel a little unstructured. And the energy level is extremely high -- great for pumping a kid up before a soccer game, but less-than-ideal for pre-nap viewing.
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