Dawn Savidge is reliving a series she enjoyed with her children and finding good things second time around
The film/Series: Hey Arnold
Other connected films/TV series Film/TV series (1996-2004). There have been 5 seasons. Two films were released in 2002 and 2017.
Running time, or each episode length 15 minutes per episode.
Genre Children’s Cartoon
Overview The series centres on a young boy called Arnold with an unusual American football shaped head; giving him the nickname ‘football head’. He lives in a boarding house with his grandparents and has a whole host of friends who he does life with. Some of the more memorable characters are Helga, Gerald and Harold.
What you liked I used to watch this as a older teenager when it was first aired. I loved it then and I still love it now. There were many real life issues that the series dealt with in a very accessible way. The characters are very likeable with the addition of new minor characters in episodes which continues to add a fuller story of Arnold’s life.
Arnold is depicted as a empathetic young man whose friends often seek him for advice and guidance, which he gives in a very mature way. However, he is very blinded to the obvious crush that Helga has on him.
What you didn’t like Nothing.
Thoughts for parents: This might be a blast from the past for some of us who grew up watching this. I would definitely recommend watching this with your children, probably from the age of eight upwards.
There are a couple of episodes that directly talk about Arnold’s Catholic faith, but mainly Hey Arnold deals with lots of real life issues that children face today.
In one episode we get a glimpse into Helga leaving her ‘tomboy’ roots in order to try to fit with the girls. There is a beautiful conversation that unfolds with her friends who say that they just love her for who she is.
The series also deals with poverty, alcoholism, bullying, hormones, addiction, adoption, loss and violence. But it is written in such a beautiful way that a lot of the hard hitting topics are hidden under a layer of light-hearted entertainment. This always makes a good starting point for deeper conversations with your children about the issues raised. Questions like, ‘How did you feel when Helga ran away?’ ‘How do you think you would react in that situation?’ Questions that will always lead to bigger questions about what the Bible says about certain topics.