A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Cuphead and Mugman are brothers that fight, but ultimately they care about each other. Lessons are peppered into most of their misadventures: the evils of gambling, procrastination, etc.
Positive Role Models
Cuphead and Mugman live with Elder Kettle, who looks after and cares for them. Between bouts of cartoon violence and name-calling are small examples of things like sharing, forgiveness, teamwork.
The series is about anthropomorphic objects in a fantasy world. The lead voice actor is Black and there is some diversity among supporting characters.
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Violence & Scariness
Tom and Jerry-style cartoon violence. Rockets, cannons, gunpowder, and explosions appear often. Characters fight and argue about small things. They sometimes meet others who lie, steal, or use violence. Spooky scenes. In some episodes, main villain is the devil, who dwells underground and tries to steal souls. His head floats around, he has horns, and he turns into a serpent with sharp teeth. His voice is more funny than scary, though, and he's easily tricked.
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Insults using mostly antiquated terms: "ding-dong," "oh, banana oil," "dumb yokels," "loser," "punk."
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Products & Purchases
Based on the hit video game Cuphead. Cuphead merchandise available for purchase.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Cuphead Show! is an animated series based on the popular video game. Its vintage-style animation and bouncy pace are modeled after cartoons of the 1930s, and its content is similar as well. Rockets, cannons, gunpowder, and explosions appear frequently. Characters fight and argue about small things, but the central characters ultimately care about one another. They sometimes meet others who lie, steal, or use violence. Insults use mostly antiquated terms: "ding-dong," "oh, banana oil," "dumb yokels," "loser," "punk," etc. There are also some spooky scenes: The devil is the central villain and dwells underground while trying to steal souls. His head floats around, he has horns, and he turns into a serpent with sharp teeth. But his voice is more funny than scary, and he's easily tricked. Between bouts of cartoon violence and name-calling, there are small examples of things like sharing, forgiveness, and teamwork.
Is It Any Good?
Despite its frenetic and mostly shallow characters, this charming cartoon accomplishes the formidable goal of making a 90-year-old animation style fresh again. Elementary school-age kids will enjoy the slapstick humor of The Cuphead Show!, while parents will appreciate the sparse dialogue and nostalgic feel. The episodes are short and often violent in a Looney Tunes kind of way, but they exude a largely innocent tone. The personified objects and animals that coexist in the Inkwell Isles each have their own unique charm. The ladybug mayor is a favorite, and even the devil himself is more silly than scary most of the time. The show's violence may get old for some, but it's worth a view, if only to share a few giggles while marveling over the Alexander Graham Bell-era telephones and other retro delights.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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