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maryann johanson | watching movies at home

Ben 10: The Complete Season 1 (review)

Would you put a devastatingly powerful piece of alien technology into the hands of 10-year-old boy? Of course not, which is why that premise has made this Cartoon Network entry a hit among boys aged 6 to 11. Grade-schooler Ben Tennyson stumbles across the “Omnitrix” on a summer camping trip — don’t ask how; it doesn’t matter — and discovers he can use it to transform into 10 different alien creatures ranging from monsters to robots, and so he embarks upon a life of fighting crime and using his new superduper powers to advance the typical 10-year-old agenda, such as the acquisition of a rare trading card and the regular insulting of his icky girl-cousin Gwen. In an era in which animated series have taken on a new adult sensibility, this one is strictly for the kiddies, with its simple plots, simple villains, and abundance of playground humor. All 13 episodes from the first season are here, plus episode commentary, drawing lessons from the show’s creator, and a peek at the further adventures of Ben. [buy at Amazon]

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MPAA: not rated

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