Have the kids tried to peek over your shoulder while you have Critical Role on the screen because they’re wondering what the game is all about? Or maybe you’ve been looking and looking for how to speak their language to capture their interest in a role-playing game, but you haven’t been able to get them to sit down at the table quite yet.
If you’re looking for a way to get kids interested in D&D, or if you’re a kid at heart and you have 20 minutes to spare, here are three family-friendly TV shows inspired by tabletop role-playing to watch together.
Teen Titans GO! is a irreverent, frenetic parody take on some of DC Comics’ classic teen characters. Robin, Cyborg, Beast Boy, Raven, and Starfire might not be the most coordinated super-team, or the most powerful, or really all that good at being superheroes, actually… But, they put all their hearts and energy into whatever it is they’re doing for 11 zany minutes.
“Riding the Dragon” was written by Will Friedle, who knows a thing or two about Dungeons & Dragons thanks to his recurring guest spot on Critical Role. When team leader Robin finds his friends enjoying a role-playing game without caring about the rules, he steps in and insists they play by the book. But when they’re sucked into the fantasy world and become their characters for real, will they be able to find their way out?
Suggested Ages: Elementary aged kids and older
Even if you haven’t watched a lot of Gravity Falls on Disney XD, “Dungeons, Dungeons, and More Dungeons” works great as a standalone episode for viewers of almost any age. When Dipper finds a copy of his favorite (and super complicated) tabletop role-playing game, he also discovers an unlikely fellow fan, his Great Uncle Ford.
The rest of the family can’t understand the appeal of the game, but when the characters comes to life and Dipper are Ford are kidnapped by the wizard Probabilitor (voiced by “Weird Al” Yankovic!), it’s up to Mabel and Grunkle Stan to save them.
Suggested Ages: Older elementary and middle school aged kids
The Goldbergs takes place in the magical years of 1980-something. Women’s clothes that rock the shoulder pads, P.E. classes with a coach in tight shorts, and 80s pop culture galore are just another week on this hilarious sitcom.
The period show touches briefly on the 1980s “satanic panic,” but mostly focuses on how learning and playing Dungeons & Dragons can bring together people of different backgrounds and abilities. When Adam is given the chance to pick teams in P.E., he can’t resist choosing the jocks over his fellow geeky friends. The coach allows those chosen last to pick the game, and the geeks select… Dungeons & Dragons. Can Adam teach the jocks D&D in just one day?
Suggested Ages: Middle school and older
Do you have a favorite Dungeons & Dragons themed kids show? Tell us about it in the comments.
Featured Image: Cartoon Network / DC Comics
Other Image: Disney XD