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 this action-packed cartoon, while funny, has iffy messages for kids and tweens. Main character Dudley doesn’t take his job seriously, yet by sheer luck he manages to outshine his more dedicated partner every time. Despite her talents, it’s Kitty’s attractive appearance and overly emotional response to Dudley’s successes that are memorable. There's also a surprising amount of marginal language -- including a lot of name-calling -- in the show, including “butt,” “moron,” and “buttmunch.”
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
T.U.F.F. PUPPY chronicles on the adventures of Dudley Puppy (voiced by Jerry Trainor), a happy-go-lucky mutt who’s unexpectedly recruited by a secret crime-fighting troup called Turbo Undercover Fighting Force (T.U.F.F.). Despite some impressive canine traits, Dudley is far from the total spy package, much to the chagrin of his new partner, Kitty Katswell (Grey DeLisle). The feline superspy takes her job very seriously, and Dudley’s lack of intensity is a constant source of tension between the two. It will take every bit of her patience to team up with him to defeat the criminals of Petropolis.
Is it any good?
T.U.F.F. Puppy's blend of totally unrealistic content and extreme characterizations can be entertaining, but unfortunately those same qualities make it a less than optimal choice for young kids. While tweens might be able to see the ironic humor in a partnership as lopsided as Kitty and Dudley’s, younger kids won’t, and the messages they’ll pick up from the characters’ interactions will reflect the fact that Dudley’s accidental heroism always outshines Kitty’s careful training and rule following. In other words, the show tells kids that it’s better to be lucky than to be prepared.
Even iffier for this age group is all the name-calling between the characters. Parents will cringe to hear Kitty refer to Dudley as “moron,” “idiot,” and even “buttmunch” on a fairly consistent basis throughout each episode; the fact that the social interactions are cloaked in humor will make it all the more appealing for young kids to imitate.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about heroes. How do you define a hero? What qualities are important to you in a role model? Who are some of your heroes? How do they inspire you?
Kids: What do you want to be when you grow up? What special skills or training will the job require? Where will you learn what you need to know?
Why do we have rules? How do different rules apply to different situations (at home, at school, on the road, etc.)? What happens when rules are broken? How are others affected as well as the person who breaks the rules?
Themes & Topics
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