Friday, March 25, 2016

My First Impressions of the New Voltron Series

UPDATE: Wow...I never realized the number of typos and absent linkage that this article previously had! I've gone back and re-edited this piece for the better.


I just returned from Wondercon 2016 and attended the "Voltron: Legendary Defender" panel - a new series coming to Netflix from Joaquim Dos Santos and Lauren Montgomery; two directors and storyboard artists with an impressive resume of recent animation works, though I am most familiar with both through their significant contributions to "Avatar: The Last Airbender" and "The Legend of Korra"

Images courtesy of The Nerdist.

Based on the three extensive clips shown during the panel, along with the given information and impressive cast of voice actors, the new series looks extremely promising, with an openly admitted combining of elements from both the original Japanese series "Beast King GoLion" and its American adaptation, brand new concepts, and added with the fun energy, appealing character designs, and high production values that both "Avatar: The Last Airbender" and "The Legend of Korra" offered.

This series looks to be something special for us Kaiju / Super Robot fans.

Some of the new character design and casting choices are surprising (Rhys Darby as the new Coran?), but also brilliant in a 'thinking-out-of-the-box' sort of way (Rhys Darby as the new Coran!).

Princess Allura in particular has been re-imagined / rebooted into a dark-skinned (black) elf maiden and simply looks fantastic, like the gorgeous love-child of "The Legend of Zelda" and "Revolutionary Girl Utena".

Not much was said of the villains, other than they'll be as vile and almost as horrifying as their Japanese originals (complete with the returned name of The Garla Empire), and RoBeasts will be more significant threats over the one-and-done opponents of older Voltron series.
Plus, voice actor Neil Kaplan will be portraying the Garla's supreme leader, King Zarkon, which was a nice surprise for me, since Neil was a very kind and friendly person towards yours truly, during my attendance at the very first Power Morphicon back in 2007.

Never been that big of a "Voltron" fan from the past despite my love of gigantic monsters in all shapes and sizes, and watching the series on occasion. But this new version has me hyped, and I can't wait for its streaming premier on June 10th, 2016.

Additional Links:

Cartoon Brew's Preview
Nerdist Interviews with the Producers and Cast Details

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