By Emily Ashby,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Teen heroes do lots of fighting in kung fu 'toon.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
There's little hands-on adult supervision, so the teens are left to fend for themselves when it comes to battling the bad guys. The show has some body humor, like gas noises; in one instance, a teen tests a "flying fart spell" that sends him sailing through the air when he passes gas. The teens are often cocky and self-assured in the face of danger. On a positive note, the teen girl is clearly the most responsible and industrious of the bunch. The show also includes references to Chinese phrases, celebrations, and mythology.
Violence & Scariness
Martial arts are central to the plot, so there's a lot of hand-to-hand fighting and use of everyday objects (sticks, pipes, etc.) as weapons. There are few realistic consequences of the fighting -- characters endure collisions, extensive falls, and hard hits with no injury. In one sequence, a villain falls into an abyss but later emerges unharmed.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Multiple references to a teen's crush on one of her peers.
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Products & Purchases
The teens carry cell phones and ride stunt bikes. Young fans may be inspired to visit the show's Web site for two-minute "mobisodes" that can be downloaded to cell phones.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that martial-arts style fighting is central to the plot of this tween-targeted cartoon, so there's lots of hitting, kicking, and use of everyday objects (sticks, pipes, even link sausages) as weapons. Aside from the use of traditional kung fu moves, there's little reality to any of the violence; as in many live-action martial-arts movies, characters are able to endure far more impact than a human body realistically could. Between that and the show's other magical, mystical elements, there's a lot of fantasy in play, so be sure your kids can decipher what's real from what's not. Also, know that the show isn't out to drive home any strong positive lessons: The only consistent message for tweens is that fighting is a reliable means of conflict resolution. One bright spot is the lead female character, who uses her smarts -- not just her fists -- to battle the enemy.
Where to Watch
Based on 2 parent reviews
Glad it's gone!
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Three thumbs up for Three Delivery
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What's the Story?
In the heart of Chinatown sits Wu's Garden Chinese restaurant, whose unremarkable exterior belies the extraordinary things that go on inside. It's here that three teens train under Nana (voiced by Nancy Wu), an expert in martial arts and Eastern magic. With the help of her apprentices, Nana must locate the contents of a magic cookbook long since scattered by the evil Kong Li (Lex Woutas), who wants to use the recipes in the book to destroy the force field that protects the city and wreak havoc on the people there. Only through their mastery of kung fu can Sue (Stephanie Sheh), Sid (Johnny Bosch), and Tobey (Robby Sharpe) defeat Kong Li and ensure Chinatown's continued safety.
Is It Any Good?
It's clear that the creators of THREE DELIVERY realized there's nothing particularly original about the concept of average-teens-turned-superheroes who, despite their age and worldly inexperience, manage to undermine a villain's best-laid plans. So the show attempts to distinguish itself from its peers with the concept of the magical cookbook -- its recipes can awaken mythical dragons and brew exponentially multiplying batches of soup that envelope entire towns. True, it rates high on the hokey scale for adults, but it's the stuff young tweens -- especially adventure-loving boys -- probably will enjoy.
That said, the show is so rooted in fantasy that it could send mixed messages to younger viewers. Martial-arts style fighting is central to the plot and serves as the main means of conflict resolution -- and none of it results in realistic injury. The teens fly solo in battles against Kong Li and his minions, and (as per usual in cartoons) the good guys always win. One bright spot in this otherwise so-so cartoon is its attempt to expose viewers to aspects of the Chinese culture by referencing Chinese phrases, celebrations, food, and mythology. And it has a strong female lead in Sue, who's a worthy kung fu fighter but also relies on her book smarts to undermine the enemy.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the impression that the show gives of the martial-arts tradition. Do the fights seem realistic? Why or why not? How do you think real martial-arts experts might feel about shows like this? What could you gain from learning martial arts? Would you want to try it? How does the practice of martial arts fit into Chinese history? What equivalents (if any) exist in American heritage? Families can also use this show to learn more about Chinese traditions and culture.
- Premiere date: June 27, 2008
- Cast: Johnny Yong Bosch, Robby Sharpe, Stephanie Sheh
- Network: Nicktoons
- Genre: Kids' Animation
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Sports and Martial Arts, Adventures
- TV rating: TV-Y7
- Last updated: February 24, 2022
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