15 June 2015

TV DVD Review: "Ben 10": Season One

Rated: TV-Y7 for fantasy violence (US)
Starring: Tara Strong, Paul Eiding, and Meagan Smith
Released: December 27, 2005 - March 25, 2006 (original TV premieres) / February 6, 2007 (DVD)
Synopsis: Ben Tennyson's summer has barely even started when he joins his cousin Gwen and grandfather Max on a cross-country RV trip.  While camping in the middle of nowhere, Ben finds a weird-looking watch-like device, and puts it on...only to soon discover that it gives him super powers! Now that Ben has the ability to transform into ten different powerful aliens, it's up to him to save the world from evil geniuses and attacking aliens...but, will even that be enough?
As seen on Cartoon Network.

The Good: I've enjoyed many a superhero cartoon over the past few years, but this is the first one that didn't take characters directly from a comic book.  Fans of action/adventure serials will find plenty to like about this: adventure, heroism, funny moments, etc.  The animation is great, as is the voice work; you'd never guess that many of the characters are voiced by the same people! Not much to complain about.

The Bad: The only problem I have is with the season finale; it feels like a series finale instead, and doesn't leave much room for another episode, even though the show goes on for four seasons and several sequel series.  Maybe the makers weren't anticipating making a second season.

Content Concerns:
  • Sex: None. 5/5
  • Nudity: Shirtless guys, and brief cleavage, all made less sultry thanks to the cartoony style. 4/5
  • Language: Name-calling; nothing more. 4/5
  • Violence: Fantasy violence abounds in these thirteen episodes; Ben, his family members, the various villains, and innocent people are hit, kicked, thrown, blasted, etc., quite often.  Buildings are destroyed, as is a famous landmark.  Slapstick violence is also present in smaller doses. 2/5
  • Drugs: None. 5/5
  • Frightening/Intense Scenes: Some of the monsters are a bit scary, and the bad guys come off as terrorists at times. 2/5
  • Other: Some episodes feature the usage of fantasy-type magic; there is a bit of crude humor. 3/5
Conclusion: I randomly picked a season of this up at a garage sale last year, and am glad I did! This kind of thing is right up my alley: admirable heroes, despicable villains, and plenty of action.  Maybe I'm just late to the party, but, if you haven't checked this one out...you should!

Score: 4.5/5

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