Skylanders Academy

Ages: 7 and upManufacturer: Activision Blizzard Studios

Skylanders Academy is a school where creatures are learning to be full-fledged evil-fighting superheroes. The show is an animated spinoff of a videogame that takes place in Skylands, a realm of floating islands perched high among the clouds. Skylanders are constantly trying to stop Kaos, the main bad guy, from taking over.

Luckily, Kaos is a bit of a bumbling bad dude, so his evil is more a joke than a true threat. But there are other evil characters – with fiery eyes and booming voices – who are much scarier. All of the characters are quirky, smart, goofy and different. Spyro the Dragon is a sweet, winged little guy, while Stealth Elf is a green gal with white eyes and a long braid. Eruptor seems to be a hulking chunk of rock. They are the newest graduates of the academy, overseen by Master Eon, a wise wizard. Pilot Flynn is a helpful but somewhat silly egotistical guy, Dreamcatcher is a bobbing purple head who is on the side of evil.

Stories always center on the good guys stopping the bad guys. Teamwork is prized, puns and other wordplay are prevalent, and good messages emerge, such as “trust your instincts” or “stare your fears right in the face.” There’s also a star-studded voice cast including Catherine O’Hara, Susan Sarandon, Ashley Tisdale and Justin Long. Overall, Skylanders Academy is a magical world with spellbinding, likeable characters.


Ann Oldenburg ©2018 Parents’ Choice

Ann Oldenburg, lecturer and interim director of the journalism program at Georgetown University, writes about television, food, workplace issues and other pop culture topics. A University of Florida Gator with a degree in journalism, she began her career at The Washington Post and spent more than two decades with USA TODAY. She and her husband have three sons and live in McLean, Virginia.

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