Zorro: The Chronicles

TV review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Zorro: The Chronicles TV Poster Image
Copious action, some mature themes in reimagined series.

Parents say

age 3+
Based on 1 review

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

Educational Value

Set in a Spanish settlement in California, the show exposes kids to music, architecture, and dress of the time and place. It also touches on the strained relationship between the settlers and the Native Americans.

Positive Messages

Zorro battles injustice at the hands of the criminals in charge, which puts him at odds with the law and highlights a moral dilemma between doing what's right by the law and following your conscience. He uses a weapon -- his whip -- but never with the intent to hurt anyone. By keeping his identity a secret, he avoids repercussions for his actions. Zorro is inspired by his mother's Native American heritage and often turns to elders in that community for guidance. Greed yields selfish and cruel behavior. However, the series glosses over the complex relationship between Native Americans and the Spanish settlers.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Zorro is driven by a firm sense of right and wrong, and he doesn't discriminate in coming to anyone's rescue. He's brave, loyal, and humble, and demonstrates empathy. His sister and friend support his efforts and protect his identity so he can go about his business helping people. In contrast, those in power in the town are selfish and greedy and treat others disparagingly.

Violence & Scariness

Frequent swordplay and sparring, but Zorro never fights to hurt or kill, only to disarm. Some use spears and other weapons.

Sexy Stuff
Language

Occasionally name-calling such as "idiot," "buffoon," and "fools."

Consumerism

This series is another incarnation of a classic character in Zorro, who's been the focus of numerous other shows and movies.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Zorro: The Chronicles follows a teenage Zorro as he battles the forces of injustice in his town. The tyrants are lawmakers, which puts him at odds with those in charge and could be confusing for kids with a rigid understanding of right and wrong. As you'd expect, there's a lot of action in this show, with swords and Zorro's whip dominant in the clashes, but Zorro never looks to hurt anyone, only to disarm. Expect to hear some name-calling ("idiot," "buffoon," and the like) and derogatory treatment of Native Americans by the settlers. On the other hand, Diego, Ines, and their friends are poster kids for following your conscience and treating others with respect.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bypierre l. April 13, 2018

Help

It's so poorly done... and so stupid

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What's the story?

ZORRO: THE CHRONICLES opens as Don Diego returns to his home of California after years away at a school in Spain. He arrives to find that corruption has taken firm hold of his town, led by the unscrupulous Captain Monasterio, and the people are suffering under unfair rules and regulations. Inspired to action, Diego unleashes his masked alter ego, Zorro, on the tyrants, freeing those unjustly imprisoned and opening the coffers to set things right. With his best friend, Bernardo, and his twin sister, Ines, keeping his secret, Zorro fights for justice for all.

Is it any good?

Blending action and humor, this rendition of the classic masked hero has adventure that appeals to kids but also some serious themes. Diego -- and, by extension, Zorro -- is like the cool older brother every kid wishes he had; he's charismatic, easygoing, and a real cutup, not to mention the best partner in lopsided fights with the corrupters in town. What's more, the fact that he keeps his alter ego a secret gives him a certain humility that's appealing, since he's in it for justice and not for his own family. And not to be outdone by her brother, Ines is feisty and outspoken and matches wits with the bad guys in her own way.

On the other hand, there are some aspects of the show that might give parents pause. While Diego's duplicity makes sense for him to protect his identity, the fact that he encourages Bernardo to feign deafness to their advantage (so he can overhear conversations that aren't meant for him) has negative connotations. From a historical perspective, Zorro: The Chronicles also glosses over the complex interactions between settlers and Native Americans (who speak flawless English, mind you), only superficially addressing issues such as slavery and the seizure of land. And then there's that sticky matter of breaking the law to do what's morally right, which raises many dilemmas of its own. The bottom line? This series isn't a mindless watch, and kids may come away from it with some questions about these heavier themes.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Zorro's sense of right and wrong in Zorro: The Chronicles. What inspires his respect for people? Why is it important to judge a person's character rather than his appearance?

  • How does this series present women? Who are some of your favorite female characters on TV?

  • Kids: Have you ever been at odds with a rule or set of rules? When is it OK to follow your conscience rather than the rule of law? Would the possible repercussions be worth it?

  • How does Zorro demonstrate empathy in Zorro: The Chronicles? Why is this an important character strength?

TV details

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