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 animated adventure series depicts lots of sci-fi violence, with giant robots facing off in the streets of futuristic cities. There are a few jokes that might be considered mild toilet humor, but nothing approaching inappropriate for younger viewers. Expect major toy tie-ins to show up in stores everywhere. Despite some general messages about the benefits of working together, there aren't many explicitly positive messages or much else to recommend this series as a worthwhile show for kids.
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What's the story?
VOLTRON FORCE is an animated series based on Voltron: Defender of the Universe, which aired in syndication during the mid-'80s. In this iteration, the original pilots of the Voltron lions -- who have become outcasts from society -- recruit a group of young, rebellious military cadets to help them stop the oppressive regime of a new government. Daniel (voiced by Vincent Tong), Vince (Doron Bell), and Larmina (Shannon Chan-Kent) are the newest additions to the Voltron Force, and they bring some young energy to the now-mature originals (Lance, Allura, Pidge, and Hunk). There are also otherworldly threats to deal with ... and perhaps the return of old villains as well.
Is it any good?
There's a massive market these days in kids' television that plays on parents' nostalgic feelings. Heck, the Hub network is constructed almost solely around nostalgia and kids, from Jem and the Holograms reruns to new series based on Pound Puppies, Transformers, and Strawberry Shortcake.
Voltron Force only seems to exist to sell Voltron toys to wistful parents who remember their own weekday afternoons spent longing for five robot lions that miraculously combined to create one spectacular robot. There are occasionally clever moments in the storytelling and dialogue of Voltron Force, but most of it might as well have been drawn from the template of countless other half-hour "advertainment" series for large toy lines from major manufacturers like Mattel and Hasbro. The computer graphics effectively showcase the classic designs of Voltron and his component parts, but beyond the visceral thrills of watching giant robots beat each other up, there's little to recommend here.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the impact of sci-fi violence as opposed to more realistic violence. How does it feel to watch giant robots battling as compared to watching people fight?
Did you know anything about Voltron before watching the show? Did watching the show make you want to learn more about the old show? Did it make you want to buy a Voltron toy?
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