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 these lovable underwater creatures promote sharing and a sense of community. Contrary to popular belief, this cartoon isn't a spin-off of The Smurfs (even though both shows were created by Belgians). If anything, this series is one of the more grounded animated shows from the '80s.
What's the story?
THE SNORKS, one of Hanna-Barbera's 1980s hits (still running in repeats and available on DVD), features a community of creatures who live underwater and sport snorkels for heads but otherwise have lives very much like humans'. According to the show's back story, Snorkland was influenced by a ship captain thrown overboard by pirates who made contact with the Snorks and passed on many human customs. Characters include Allstar Seaworthy (voiced by Michael Bell), Casey Kelp (B.J. Ward), Junior Wentworth (Barry Gordon), Tooter Shelby (Frank Welker), Daffney Gilphin (Nancy Cartwright), and Dimmy Finster (Brian Cummings). Every episode has a villain, and it's usually Junior, the arrogant son of Snorkland's infamous governor. Both the governor and his snobbish son have a tendency to look down at the other Snorks and use their money to manipulate them.
Is it any good?
When watching The Snorks, expect imaginative fun: Kids will love the trademark Snork sound and the fact that Tooter can only speak in "toots." Children who love animals will also sympathize with Occy, who was adopted by Allstar after being abandoned by Junior.
The series also features plenty of very low-level flirting and boy-girl relationships. Allstar and Casey are boyfriend and girlfriend, as are Daffney and Dimmy -- and Junior usually finds his way into the mix to cause the couples problems. Parents may also want to explain that not all government officials are evil and money-hungry; in fact, their job is to take care of their fellow citizens, not look down on them.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what it means to be a member of society. How does Snorkland compare to our world? How do the Snorks balance working together with being individuals? Which Snork is most like you? On the lighter side, what do you think it would be like to live underwater?
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