Rocket Power was an animated series that aired on Nickelodeon from 1999 to 2004. It was the last Nicktoon of the 90s and was created by the same team that introduced the world to other shows like Rugrats and Aaahh!!! Real Monsters. The series followed the daily lives of a group of young friends who were passionate about extreme sports, such as skateboarding, snowboarding, and surfing. It was wildly entertaining with its memorable characters, their wacky hijinks, plenty of heart and humor, and exhilarating extreme sports action. It was a fantastic show that helped the network transition between the 90s and 2000s. That being said, in more recent years, the iconic animated series has received quite a bit of hate online.
A series as entertaining as Rocket Power receiving large amounts of hate is truly tragic. Someone not liking it is a valid opinion which they’re entitled to, but large waves of abhorrent typists ripping on the series is completely unjust. It’s gradually become considered one of Nickelodeon’s worst shows depending on where you look. Such seemingly random hate for such a fun series isn’t deserved whatsoever.
Some of the reasons typically given as to why these folks detest Rocket Power so much are that the slang dialogue constantly used by the main characters is annoying, the stories are dull, the characters are obnoxious, and that the show is ultimately a product of its time. There’s not much validity to these strange claims.
A group of kids using their own slang is a fairly normal concept. Not only does it make these child characters feel realistic and relatable, but it also helps with the show’s branding. Everyone who grew up with the series knows “woogedy woogedy woogedy!” The stories being dull is an especially confusing claim since they’re genuinely not. A young skateboarder getting the chance to skate alongside Tony Hawk or an older sister trying to cover for her brother and friends while they’re causing trouble on Halloween night are actually quite entertaining. Regarding the characters being obnoxious; they’re really not. A hot head who learns lessons the hard way, a caring and mature older sister who still likes goofing off with her younger brother, a tech-loving and unathletic nerd, and a dimwitted best friend are all reasonable character tropes to see in a coming of age series.
Then there’s the “product of its time” critique. There’s a major difference between something being dated and being a time capsule. If something is dated, it only really worked for the time it came out. An off-color joke regarding the LGBT+ community in Zoolander is a dated joke. If something is a time capsule, it serves as a representation about how things were at that time. Rocket Power serves as a perfect time capsule for the late 90s. Extreme sports were at peak popularity at the time, and the music, celebrity cameos, and humor all fit what was popular.
Rocket Power still holds up today, and not just as a fun nostalgia trip (although it works well for that as well). There are great emotional moments between the characters, like when Tito surfs out into the stormy ocean to save Otto. The humor is genuinely funny, like when Twister wonders how the park map knows where he is when it says “you are here.” The exciting skateboard tricks and street hockey matches are well-animated. It may not be quite as iconic as something like Rugrats, but it’s a genuinely fun series. It’s quite odd to see it get so much hate lately. This may not be an ancient Hawaiian saying, but maybe some more jaded viewers need to give Rocket Power another chance, or at least chill out a bit.