I’ve been meaning to do a trailer review on the Dreamworks animated series Voltron: Legendary Defender, a reboot of the 1984 series, but then Netflix dropped all 13 episodes on June 10 so I dropped that idea like a hot potato.
Instead I am doing a spoiler free first look of the first six episodes and then a spoiler review of the entire first season.
The first three episodes are on a single story arc “The Rise of Voltron”. We are introduced to the galaxy conquering Galran Empire and its ruthless leader Emperor Zarkon who have come to Earth searching for the 100 meter tall robot Voltron which is created by the combining of five multicolored robot lions.
We meet our five pilots/Paladins: leader Shiro, rebellious Keith (voiced by The Walking Dead’s Steven Yeun), loquacious Lance, genius Pidge and goofy Hunk. They have individualized weapons for ground combat which reminded me a bit of Power Rangers. The rag tag team meet Princess Allura and her retainer Coran and learn about Voltron and the Galran Empire.
I enjoyed the anime style and CGI for Voltron and the lions was sleek and cool looking. There were a few instances of the weird face morphing that you get in anime for comedic effect which took me a bit out of the experience.
Hunk and Coran are played mostly for comedy but the humor is a bit too juvenile for older viewers. Some of the situational humor and sight gags, however, made me laugh out loud.
The use of split screen panels for each pilot is a nice flashback to the 80s cartoons and overall the new series does recapture that sense of adventure. Being on Netflix it is made for binge watching and the episodes are serialised. I am glad they avoided the formulaic – Voltron fights a monster every episode – but they build it to the action sequences. The lions do get a good run and are not just props to form Voltron. And Voltron himself is as epic as I remembered and he still kicks major posterior.
The first six episodes are really about getting to know the characters and seeing them try to come together as a team. While I was not blown away by this new series I was entertained and intrigued, and look forward to see how it wraps up.
So have you started watching Voltron: The Legendary Defender? What did you think of it? Feel free to comment below.
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Julien is outie like a navel. l8rs