The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this series is filled with standard cartoon violence like extensive falls, collisions, and fistfights. Occasionally, there's also unrealistic use of firepower; in one scene, a cannon fires children instead of cannonballs (the kids emerge unscathed). Flapjack's adoration of Captain K'Nuckles is disturbing since the captain is selfish, dishonest, and unkind and routinely encourages Flapjack to ignore Bubbie's motherly advice. The series does attempt to convey positive messages about good social behavior, but the lessons are typically overshadowed by the rest of the content and the show's chaotic pace.
What's the story?
Flapjack (voiced by Thurop Van Orman) is a young boy with an oversized thirst for adventure. Raised at sea by gentle talking whale Bubbie (Roz Ryan) -- whose cavernous insides provide a cozy home for her adopted son -- Flapjack's eyes are opened when he meets an old pirate named Captain K'Nuckles (Brian Doyle-Murray), who fills his head with exaggerated tales of his exciting experiences at sea. Now Flapjack's blind adoration sets him adrift with the crooked captain in one sticky situation after another, despite the fact that Bubbie -- and everyone else in Stormalong Harbor -- sees K'Nuckles for the dishonest scoundrel he truly is.
Is it any good?
On the surface, there's nothing overtly worrying about THE MARVELOUS MISADVENTURES OF FLAPJACK, but there are some underlying issues that parents may take issue with. Poor Flapjack is caught in the middle between two adults -- both of whom he loves and admires for different reasons -- who bombard him with conflicting ideas of what it means to be a good, upstanding person. Bubbie tries her best to teach him that charity and friendship can solve any conflict, but it's usually Captain K'Nuckles' irresponsible quest for mischief that wins out.
There's also a fair amount of standard fare cartoon violence (fistfights, crashes, that sort of thing) and some use of guns and cannons, but the fact that no one is ever hurt just underlines the show's improbability. Precious little about this series is relatable to real life, and even attempts to include positive lessons are lost amid its chaotic pace. Though the target audience of young tweens -- especially boys -- might have fun with Flapjack's adventures, in the end they'd be better served by a show with a little more substance.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about role models. How does the media affect our views of model behavior? Do you think famous people are held to a different set of standards than the rest of us are? Is that fair?
Who are some of your role models? What characteristics do you admire in them? How would you feel if someone you looked up to did something wrong?