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Timon & Pumbaa
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 some of the characters in this cartoon series are pretty scary, particularly the three always-starving, stooge-like hyenas, who never catch their prey. Disney's excellent animation can make them look quite horrifying, and they frequently hit each other, as well as attack their prey. The violence is of a cartoon nature -- abundant and free of consequence. There's a commercial break between segments, and Toon Disney's commercials tend to be of the most insidious kind.
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What's the story?
Lion King spin-off series TIMON & PUMBAA has its roots in classic American humor. With its wacky cartoon violence, similarity to the original Looney Tunes is unmistakable, and the three hyena characters are clearly an homage to the Three Stooges. Like the Stooges, these characters sometimes hit one another, usually in response to some perceived stupidity.
Is it any good?
Parents and older kids will find plenty of slapstick and pun-like humor, most of which is worked in well enough that a younger viewer won't require an explanation. There's plenty of wacky cartoon violence, but only the very youngest viewers might be bothered by it -- and then only until they get the way these cartoons work and accept a world where you can fall out of an airplane and emerge unharmed. Timon & Pumbaa is pure brain candy, with no lessons and no morals. It's Bugs and Daffy for the Lion King fan.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how TV Timon and Pumbaa are different from the characters in the movie. Parents might also bring up the series' joyfully ludicrous violence, as opposed to the apparently serious violence found in anime and action cartoons. Which do you like better, and why? Parents might also want to discuss the characters' tendency to hit one another when they're angry. Why is that funny on screen but not off?
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