Thundarr the Barbarian

TV review by
KJ Dell Antonia, Common Sense Media
Thundarr the Barbarian TV Poster Image
80s action 'toon offers kid-friendly adventures.

Parents say

age 6+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 7+
Based on 1 review

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Hero characters attempt to protect their world without hurting others -- even evil, bad, naughty others. Princess Ariel is a smart, capable role model for girls.

Violence & Scariness

Thundarr's role is to protect humans from mutants and men gone bad, which he does with both his sword and his fists. But he never injures or kills anyone -- a point that's made very clear (he even saves his enemies from harm). The destruction of civilization is shown in the show's credits and might be frightening if it were better animated -- but it's not.

Sexy Stuff

Princess Ariel wears a very impractical swimsuit, but there's no sex or inuendo.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byRogue Comet November 19, 2011

Childhood memories

I watched Thundarr the barbarian as a child. My only regret was it's cancellation.
Parent of a 8-year-old Written byVictorianna December 15, 2010

Great Classic Cartoon Good vs. Evil

Thundarr is a classic cartoon now (scary, huh?) and I think shows the changes in our culture. Thundarr isn't too politically correct to have a sword-carryi... Continue reading
Kid, 10 years old June 3, 2009

i saw it once

it has awesomeness!

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?

TV details

Our editors recommend

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

Streaming options powered by JustWatch

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate