With Netflix's animated slate growing at astronomical rates, it can be tough to keep track of what's actually intended for kids — and what's adamantly not. So parents who grew up on the floppy disk computer game or PBS game show may be wondering: is Carmen Sandiego appropriate for kids under 10? The Netflix reboot is definitely a spy thriller, but it does have a suggested age rating.
Netflix has rated the show TV-Y7-FV. It's suggested for kids ages seven and older with "fantasy violence" elements flagged as a potential hazard. In Netflix's Maturity Ratings, suggestions are categorized by Little Kids, Older Kids, Teens, and Mature. TV-Y7-FV falls under Older Kids, so if you have a PIN parental control setting on your Netflix account, it may lock little ones out of seeing Carmen Sandiego as an option. The series is also explicitly marketed as a kids TV show, so if you know your child hand can handle a little darkness in a cartoon, then go for it! Jane the Virgin's Gina Rodriguez, who voices the titular superhero, is excited to bring Carmen and her adventures to a new audience, as well as entertain parents who may be watching along.
"I think adults will enjoy the nostalgia, and it really does play out like a fun spy show," she said in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. "But I’m most excited to binge this with my nieces and nephews — I feel blessed that we get to bring Carmen to the next generation."
Rodriguez remains keenly aware of how important it is to put a Latina superhero like Carmen Sandiego on screen. The image of a brown girl who gets to travel the world, eager to learn about other people's cultures, and save precious historical artifacts from being stolen is an incredibly powerful and seldom seen role model.
“Carmen gets to travel to so many different places all over the world, and you see her empathy and desire to learn other people’s languages and cultures and religions, and she teaches that,” Rodriguez told NBC News in an interview ahead of the show's release. "The show fuses two things I love the most, which is art and education, and when I see that cute little girl with her pretty brown skin, it makes me melt. I almost want to cry when I think about it.”
As for super fans of the original PBS game show Where In the World Is Carmen Sandiego?, Netflix built in an Easter egg just for you. One Day at a Time's Rita Moreno, who voiced Carmen on the original series, returns to the Netflix reboot to voice another character. She'll play Cookie Booker, the bookkeeper at V.I.L.E. Academy, where Carmen was once a star student. Realizing that V.I.L.E. was actually breeding thieves who were willing to hurt people, Carmen makes a break for it. She vows to race around the world stealing the treasures V.I.L.E. is after before they reach them, making her the ultimate thief.
Carmen Sandiego is currently streaming on Netflix.