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Reasons I let my kid watch The Super Friends - VIDEO

by Debra McDuffee, posted Jun 16th 2008 2:05PM
The superfriendsBeing a proud child of the '70s, I have the fondest memories of The Super Friends cartoon. Those memories have morphed into something altogether different as I revisit the episodes, approximately thirty years later, with my three-year-old son. What used to be a fun Saturday morning romp has been elevated to a new level of appreciation. Yep, it's still all rompy fun, but I feel so good about my son watching The Super Friends for several reasons.

The Super Friends is an innocent cartoon.

In today's world of inappropriate television, it is refreshing to see a show that could be very violent be instead very innocent. There are no guns (aside from "rays" that shoot light or beams and usually transform someone into say, a dinosaur or a miniature version of themselves. Yeah, that's realistic.). There is no fighting or physical contact, unless you count wrestling with Wonder Woman and her magic lasso. Assumptions about a show with "bad guys" could keep one from watching it with their kiddos, but don't knock it 'til you try it. I'd show Owen a marathon of The Super Friends before I'd let him watch any of the violent Looney Tunes of my youth. Yeah, I turned out OK, and I know birds really don't drop anvils on coyotes and rifles really don't make people "all purple" as Owen puts it, but he's only three, for crying out loud.

The episodes are only about 10 minutes long (some of them).
Since we limit the amount of TV watched in our house, I like that some of the seasons of The Super Friends (The Legendary Super Powers Show) are shorts. I think I remember them being shown in-between other shows when I was a kid, like the Schoolhouse Rock episodes. Shows of that length with a beginning, middle, and end actually have some educational value for kids, teaching them sequencing and story retelling. Plus, he's getting all of those benefits without sitting in front of the TV all day.

The Super Friends teach right from wrong and good versus evil.
Heck, this is the very reason fairy tales were invented. Kids need to know that good will conquer evil, that good will win, and that it is never beneficial to be bad. The universe is watching out for the good guys, so Lex Luthor's and Darkseid's evil plans never come to be. In a not so black and white world, it is a nice source of comfort for a young child to have that cut and dry experience.

The Super Friends have mulitcultural characters.
OK, it's a stretch, but nice to see that The Super Friends took some inspiration from Sesame Street and The Electric Company and included some different-looking faces. If you are from suburbia, you may have noticed that mulitcultural is hard to come by, and Owen needs to know that not all superheroes have white faces with a black curl on their foreheads. So Apache chief and Samurai are secondary characters, I'm not saying they didn't have a long way to go, but they were there and that is something many shows thirty years later still aren't doing.

The Super Friends has a woman in a position of power.
Regardless of what you think about the foolishness of Wonder Woman's crime-fighting "bathingsuit," or the fact that she is the only woman in the Hall of Justice (although I guess you could count Jayna from the Wonder Twins, even though she's not a regular), you've got to respect that she is treated as an equal to the other male heroes. For little girls, they get to see a strong woman working alongside men and succeeding. Little boys will see that women can be valued as equals and contribute more to society than just preparing lunch and doing laundry for them.

Now there, did you realize all the good you were doing your kid when you sat him down to watch The Super Friends? Go do your laundry, clean the dishes, or just surf the internet; your child is in good hands.

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I really think the show 'jumped the shark' when they dropped Wendy & Marvin and added the twins. Too bad this version is not out on DVD.

June 16 2008 at 5:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

So you're saying all those years watching Looney Tunes turned you into a gun shooting Acme buying lunatic?

You can let you kids watch Looney Tunes today. They've been so censored I don't know how anybody but kids can watch them now.

June 16 2008 at 3:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to PB's comment
Mr. S

Being the politically incorrect neanderthal that I am, I found as many violent and insensitive Looney Tunes as I could find a while back on DVD and sat down to show them to my kids. I generally love them (as do the kids) but I was blown away at just how violent (and in many cases racist) they are. I still let the kids watch the violent ones (we're Americans... it's our way of life) but I keep the more offensive episodes away.

As far as the Superfriends go, I've also rewatched them recently with the kids and I can't get over how campy and silly they really are. I recently saw one in which a race of aliens tries to steal Earth's air because they've polluted their own planet so much that the smog is making it cold. Al Gore must hear of this!

June 17 2008 at 10:20 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Wow, this almost sounds like the reasons that I like pillows...

They are soft
They make me feel good inside when I hug them

June 16 2008 at 3:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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