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From: Bionicle TV Show



It bothers me how much fans seem to think a child audience would hurt a BIONICLE TV show. The Mata Nui Online Game was one of the absolute best methods of story delivery in the entire course of the theme, and I don't think there's anything in that theme that would push its rating above TV-Y7. It had some extremely energetic fight scenes (Onua vs. Lewa, or Kopaka vs. the Muaka), some really dark and foreboding moments (the entire Po-Koro chapter), and even some really powerful philosophical concepts (various monologues from the Matoran and Turaga, or Makuta's monologue before the final battle). It also had a fair share of humor (Taipu's slow-wittedness, Hafu's boastfulness, Macku's endearing relationship with Hewkii, various background gags, and the very concept of a "Taxi Crab").


I take issue with the idea that darker and edgier storylines are somehow "better" or more legitimate than more lighthearted fare. Most superhero cartoons are rated TV-Y7, but a lot of them still have complex storylines and characterization that really help to make the characters relatable and the stories memorable. Some storylines even deal with very serious issues, like Avatar: The Last Airbender's themes regarding terrorism and genocide or Static Shock's frequent focus on societal issues like gang violence.


Keep in mind that BIONICLE was primarily for kids from the very beginning. Even the more violent moments in the books were no different: it's just that young kids and adult censors alike have a stronger stomach for violence in written form than in animated visual form. Thus, any BIONICLE media that seeks to shut out that child audience is forsaking the true spirit of the BIONICLE theme to instead embrace some distorted vision of what the theme should have been.


Source: Bionicle TV Show


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I think the problem is that something made for a "child audience" is generally associated with having bad dialogue, voice acting, too much juvenile humor, etc.


Not that I think that's (always) the case, as you yourself point out several counterexamples. As for BIONICLE, obviously no one wants to see a show where Onua guts Rahi with his Quake Breakers, but I think we'd all like for a show to avoid a bad script and terrible productions values.

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Just 'cause something doesn't have an adult rating doesn't mean it has to automatically be eyebrow-deep in stereotypical poorly made children television goop. It just means it doesn't have anything inappropriate for the young'uns, which I think is a good thing. You can definitely have action, and violence, and dark themes, as well as well written characters and dialogue and complex and interesting plots, and top notch animation or production values in general. If this hypothetical television serial would be anything like the (first two) Bionicle movies and the various little videos and games from the early Bionicle websites, and has the kind of stuff we read in the books and generally would come to expect from the Bionicle media franchise, it's gonna be preeetty good. I don't like the assumption that as soon as something gets adapted into a new form of media it's gonna get automatically ruined-- it could very well come out better than the original or what was expected, and the folks who would make it could easily achieve that while keeping the show within the limits of kids' programming.

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After watching the Chima TV show, which was TV-Y7, I am inclined to agree. That show grew up to excellent storytelling and emotional moments, which was possible even with that low rating.

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