The New Woody the Woodpecker Show

TV review by
Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media
The New Woody the Woodpecker Show TV Poster Image
Just as cartoonishly violent as classic, plus stereotypes.

Parents say

age 3+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 6+
Based on 4 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Educational Value

Intended to entertain, not educate.

Positive Messages

Positive themes of friendship and loyalty are very thin; characters trick each other into appearing foolish or doing things they don't want to do.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Title character Woody seems to live only for fun, and his greatest source of fun is generally annoying other characters. Anyone who opposes Woody is set up as pompous and/or evil, even though Woody himself is not nice. The cast is almost entirely male, and female characters are often stereotypically "girly." Buzz Buzzard is portrayed stereotypically, like an Italian thug.

Violence & Scariness

Loads of cartoon violence. Though there is no blood or gore, Woody and other characters are thrown off buildings, trampled, hurled across the room, and so on. The characters are healed from their injuries in the next scene.

Sexy Stuff

Woody has a girlfriend named Winnie Woodpecker, and the show may make mild references to flirting and dating.


Based on a character created by famed animator Walter Lanz, Woody is merchandised through goods like figurines, plates, and T-shirts.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Occasional winks about drinking. In one episode, a pirate sighs "There's nothing like a good glass of ale" and then says to the camera, "That's ginger ale, kiddies."

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The New Woody Woodpecker Show, though produced from 1999-2002, is a throwback to older cartoons like Looney Toons, except not as clever. The classical music, adult references, and sophisticated artwork is gone, replaced by broad jokes and primary colors. But the cartoonish violence, in which Woody can be hurled across a room and slide flattened to the floor, remains. Woody's injuries are magically healed by the time we see him again, and there are no consequences for violence. Guns do sometimes appear on the show with "bad guys" like pirates brandishing them and shooting into the air. Female characters are often stereotypical: grumpy housewives or sexy young ladies. The male characters aren't much better, being mostly daffy goofballs like Woody or saps he tricks. The character of Buzz Buzzard is particularly troubling, painted as a thug with an Italian accent. Segments featuring penguin Chilly Willy are often less violent, but just as dependent on its characters trying to trick each other as a means to an end.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byJanluke January 29, 2014

Just awesome childhood cartoon!

Just because the show is based on a TIMELESS cartoon character, The New Woody Woodpecker Show is a REAL MASTERPIECE, deserving of this term!! The episodes are v... Continue reading
Adult Written bynachiux August 7, 2020


aunque el pájaro loco sea muy maldoso y siempre se salga con la suya su voz es bastante agradable y la forma en que rompe la cuarta pared es bastante genial y t... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old October 3, 2020

CSM reviewers are prudes.

I think that the Woody Woodpecker show is a pretty good cartoon. Yeah, there's violence, and yeah, it's not educational, but why does everything a chi... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byregularreviewer January 22, 2021

I agree with the "CSM reviewers are prudes." review.

This show is hilariously slapstick and it is still entertaining to watch as a classic. CSM ALWAYS has to blame about a show being perfect, such as violence, sex... Continue reading

What's the story?

Like similar cartoon characters Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck created in the 1940s, Woody Woodpecker has always been a classic "screwball." He's daffy, he's wacky, he doesn't care about reality or other characters as long as he gets what he wants (usually tasty food and a nice, long rest). But in THE NEW WOODY WOODPECKER SHOW, Woody (Billy West) is less all-out daffy than in the past, and more calculating. Most episodes revolve around a character trying to keep Woody from getting something: Buzz Buzzard (Mark Hamill) tries to keep Woody from enjoying a sandwich, say. Woody uses all manner of tricks to deceive Buzz, ultimately getting what he wants by the end of the segment. On some segments, Woody's friends, like Chilly Willy or girlfriend Winnie Woodpecker, take over and have their own outrageous adventures.

Is it any good?

The New Woody Woodpecker Show is a throwback, in the worst sense of the word. Just as violent as Looney Tunes (though not as violent as Tom and Jerry), The New Woody Woodpecker Show lacks the cleverness of classic cartoons, with its sophisticated references to (then-current) movies and stars, its beautiful classical music, its plots ripped from fairy tales and literature.

What you get instead are broad, dumb plots about Woody trying to trick a bunch of pirates into feeding him for free, or babysitting a group of unruly kids. Kids who haven't seen these same plots on equally dumb sitcoms may be diverted, but parents most definitely won't. And the violence, gender, and ethnic stereotyping are intrusive enough that parents won't want kids to watch either.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about whether the violence in cartoons like The New Woody Woodpecker Show are dangerous for kids to watch. Do violent cartoons desensitize kids to violence? Do they give kids the idea that violence is fun, funny, and not really that dangerous, since any injuries are healed within minutes?

  • How can you tell that Buzz Buzzard is a "bad" character? How is his appearance different than Woody's? What about his accent and the words he uses? Why are bad characters in cartoons so frequently black or dark?

  • Have you seen Woody Woodpecker cartoons from the '40s and '50s? How are these different? How are they the same? Is Woody as a character the same as he was in the earlier cartoons?

TV details

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