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 although this '80s cartoon has lots of action, it's all very simplistically animated, and Thundarr and his team go to great lengths to avoid harming anyone -- both of which help make the show age-appropriate for younger viewers. Plus, even though she never wears anything but a strapless, Wonder Woman-style bathing suit, Princess Ariel is one of the best princess role models out there. She's smarter than Thundarr, she's the one character in the show who can read, and she knows, apparently, everything.
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What's the story?
Thundarr (voiced by Robert Ridgely) is a human remnant of our current civilization -- which, according to the show (which originally aired in the '80s), was destroyed in 1994. In each episode, Thundarr and his companions, Princess Ariel (Nellie Bellflower) and Ookla (Henry Corden), fight for right and justice amid the ruins of a famous city or landmark (Manhattan, the Alamo, etc.). They do this without ever hurting anyone -- instead, they make them surrender or spirit them magically away.
Is it any good?
THUNDARR THE BARBARIAN is a pretty typical-looking cartoon. The animation is simple, and both the heroes and villains seem familiar from years of Saturday morning viewing -- but that's not actually a bad thing. The simplicity and lack of flash makes it easier for young elementary school viewers to follow than many current action shows.
All in all, Thundarr is a good adventure program for younger kids. The hero's determination to do no harm and his reliance on his sidekick -- a princess who can read, knows her history, and has every magic power necessary to help save the day -- mean the show has good role models, as action cartoons go. Plus, the plots are actually mildly interesting, giving kids a chance to feel like they're figuring out what supposedly happened to the world. This is a show that action fans of all ages can enjoy together.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what sets Thundarr and his friends apart from other action cartoon heroes. Why is it important to them not to hurt anyone, even bad guys? Can you think of any other cartoon characters who feel the same way? Families can also discuss why so many action cartoons seem to be set in different times or on different planets. What does that allow the people who create the show to do?
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