There are times when it’s really hard to balance the role of father with the role of uber-nerd.  Many of the things that I love aren’t things I can share with the Widget yet, such as the entire recording catalogue of George Carlin, the movie ‘Heavy Metal’ and the beauty that is ‘Akira.’  (I might have accidentally played the first minute and a half of Tenacious D’s ‘City Hall’ in the van the other morning, leading to a moment of shock followed by utter delight at the realization that Jack Black knew some really adult words.)  Still, we have been able to share a lot of things, and she even made me realize merits of ‘Jem And The Holograms’ and ‘My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic’ that I would never have given a chance otherwise.)  On the Major Spoilers Podcast, we get this question all the time, but today it’s time for a turnabout query…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) grew up with the Warner Brothers cartoons, and so has no expectation that “kid’s stuff” should be pablum, asking: What’s the best All Ages and/or kid-friendly pop-culture in your eyes?


About Author

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.


  1. Pixar easily rules the All-Ages market. From Toy Story, Finding Nemo, Up, and the rest…all kid friendly, yet intelligent and funny enough that the whole family can enjoy them.

    Following that, the Lego video games. I’ve been a Marvel fan since I could read, so I rented Lego Marvel when it came out to try it out…and immediately went out and bought it. The whole family loved it. Even my cousin (who hates most video games) loved running around as the Hulk, smashing everything in her way.

  2. Super Sentai. While American parents groups might find it “too violent” (just look at what they did when Power Rangers first came out), it really isn’t as bad as some things that they seem to find acceptable, things kids might see on other programs or even as bad as some other kids/teen series, and there always seems to be an underlying message (the power of teamwork/friendship, doing good is it’s own reward, etc) that don’t come out quite as cheesy as they do in US series. Even my friend’s kids who can’t read the subtitles yet enjoy watching it, and some like it yet don’t like Power Rangers (which is understandable given how sub-par the recent seasons have been).

    Also, Doctor Who. It is just the right blend of interesting for adults while being not too scary for kids most of the time. It is one of the few things that I can watch with all my friend’s kids and not hear a peep about it being “too boring”, “too scary” or for the older little kids, “for babies”. AFAIK, only one of the little ones has had a Doctor Who related nightmare, and it wasn’t even a dream about any of the aliens or anything, it was that Torchwood or UNIT took her imaginary friend away.

  3. This is tricky, with the dawn of the internet (especially YouTube) it’s super hard to chose due how much discussion is put into various topics.

    I don’t want to say video games since criticism is harsh and thorough (something that is important but difficult for the younger ones to latch on to), vulgarity is constant, unfair copyright claims are around every corner, and many people being paid for ruse reactions and opinions.

    I say neigh to cartoons, the majority of them have been HORRIBLE lately they either treat children like idiots or think adults need gore and vulgarity. Action cartoons are constantly being cancelled and being given poor treatment by their respective networks or are mindless and lack a good narrative.

    Toys have been awesome with their being many collectors and companies. Kids are always playing with them and adults like reviewing them but the gender stereotypes are still in full force. If I ever have a daughter, I’m letting her play with the Transformers I’ve collected over the years even the pricey and 3rd party ones.

    I could always say comic books but gender stereotypes and the lack of variety in the medium (in America at least) are still present. It’s also hard to find something good for kids and as original comic book characters only Squirrel Girl and Ms. Marvel come to mind as something suitable for children (but the back of the book still says T, drop the ratings Marvel).

    Long story short, I have no idea. Today, people might be telling the 90s kid to shut up but I have to disagree with them, today’s media sucks. It’s almost impossible to enjoy something without judging it, gender roles still haven’t been abolished, stereotypes are constantly enforced, and controversy is around every corner.

    • “If I ever have a daughter, I’m letting her play with the Transformers I’ve collected over the years even the pricey and 3rd party ones.”

      Wish my parents could have been like that. While I did have my GI Joe, Transformers, He-Man, Star Wars and other toys, they still insisted I should have “girl toys” like Barbie and the original MLP. However, they did prove useful since I took hot glue guns to them and added weapons or “mutations” and used them as an invading horde of mutant zombie monsters.

  4. I feel like Nintendo has done pretty good job at all ages video games. I was a kid when Mario first came on NES and they still manage to do quality stuff with same characters 30 years later. they were never bad, nor did they underestimate players, like many modern games do.

  5. The first thing that popped into my head was Avatar: the Last Airbender. Legend of Korra is still really good for this category, but it has a bit more darkness which may not be as kid friendly. Last Airbender is fun, light-hearted, but also has mature tones such as death, responsibility and moral ambiguity. It is also one of my favorite shows, so I am slightly biased. But I would have to say Pixar stuff has been a solid contributor to this category as well.

  6. Well, as far as best goes it would be pretty hard to top the classic warner brothers Looney Tunes for me. Barring that I’d have to say anything Pixar( with the sweet spot being The Incredibles & the Toy Story run).

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