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Rocket Power

This article is about the animated cartoon series Rocket Power. To learn about spacecraft propulsion systems, please visit spacecraft propulsion.
Rocket Power is an animated series which debuted on the Nickelodeon TV channel in August of 1999. Produced at Klasky-Csupo Animation of Los Angeles (the creators of the Rugrats media franchise), the show revolves around the day to day adventures of (at present) middle-school age extreme sports enthusiasts who live in the fictitious Southern California beach resort town of Ocean Shores, where they enjoy surfing, roller skating, skateboarding, bicycling, street hockey, and other active pastimes.

The principal characters in the show are Otto Rocket, an obsessive, compulsive, and all-too successful and courageous athlete whose cheeky attitude and short sighted judgment often get him into trouble; Reggie Rocket, his big sister by two years, an aspiring publisher who while no less competitive and skillful as an athlete happens to be of calmer disposition; Twister Rodriguez, who is Otto's best friend, a daredevil on wheels and aspiring videographer; and Sam Dullard (also known as "Squid"), a Kansas native and relative newcomer, who while not as athletically gifted as the others has found a niche as the brains and conscience of the group--and also as a rock-solid goalie when they play hockey.

Other characters include Raymundo Rocket, the widowed fortysomething father of Otto and Reggie and the owner of the Shore Shack (a beachside diner where the gang often chow down), and Raymundo's old friend Tito Makani, a Hawaiian surfer and self-styled philosopher who helps Raymundo run the business. Lars Rodriguez, a teenage tough guy, has taken it upon himself to make life difficult for his little brother Twister and the other kids from time to time, and Officer Shirley does what she can to keep the peace.

A made for TV movie, Rocket Power: Race Across New Zealand, was shown on Nickelodeon in 2002 and featured activities such as zorb riding and floating down underground streams. Another feature film based on the series, Reggie's Big Break, is scheduled to air on that channel later in July of 2003.

Other projects related to Rocket Power and developed under the aegis of Klasky-Csupo and/or Nickelodeon have included Beach Bandits, a popular problem-solving video game, and Maximum Rocket Power Live, a live-action dramatic arena play that briefly toured the U.S. Midwest in 2002.

Fans of the show proudly point to the virtues of friendship, mutual loyalty, and physical activity exhibited by the principal characters, as well as the fact that minority characters in the show are voiced by minority talent. As well, critics have noted the Reggie character as a strong, positive, and confident female role model not falling within cultural stereotypes. Health and safety advocates have also noted the show's emphasis on active lifestyles and the use of pads and helmets in activities where their use is recommended.

Detractors of the show are bothered by the Otto character being so capable, and hardly anybody ever getting hurt doing the activities depicted, though in one episode Otto was seen with a leg cast.

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