Voltron Force-A Follow-Up To A Beloved 80's Icon
As a child of the 80's, like many of you, I waited eagerly...spoilers ahead.
Voltron was a great cartoon back in the day. And even now when I watch it I can see the cinematic potential underneath the aged art and clumsy voice-acting. The opening sequence would have served as an AMAZING trailer had the story ever made it to the cinemas like it deserved. But for whatever reason this never happened and now Nicktoons has made a sequel series to the original cartoon.
Well now we have this followup series that is DRASTICALLY different in looks and mood to the original. It picks up some years after Voltron defeated Lotor, mortally wounding him. But a Galaxy Alliance traitor named Sky Marshall Wade sabotaged the lions in an attempt to make them appear to be dangerous. Without their presence Wade intends to capitalize on people's need for protection which he himself will provide at a profit.
After Wade confiscates the lions, Alura returns to Arus and Lance, Pidge and Hunk begin working on for the Alliance while secretly helping Keith seek out the Black Lion. Lance recruits two cadets, Daniel and Vince, to join his clandestine mission. They are joined by Larmina, Alura's niece. Of the three she has the most combat skill while Vince seems to be the most tech-savvy and Daniel has the most heart.
Meanwhile the apparently dead Lotor is brought back to life by a creepy little alien named Maahox who is working with another alien named Commander Kala. Kala looks VERY MUCH like Voltron and I'm thinking will be revealed to somehow be connected to the robot. She, unwillingly, becomes the first robeast opponent of Voltron though she takes the form of a giant spider, and then further changes when she is bonded with a Voltron-inspired clone created by Wade.
Of course in the end, the Voltron Force wins with help from the cadets.
Okay, what's good about the show is the fact that it IS a sequel and features the same characters and a story that picks up where the old one left off more or less. The Voltron scenes are great. He looks the same but touched up a bit. It seems that he's computer-generated and the fights are actually superior to those of the old series with a lot more punching and grappling as opposed to prolonged shots of jaw-dropped or cringing characters. Some homages are there too, like split screens and some music reminiscent of the old themes. Best of all, they actually address Keith's mullet and have him cut it.
That said what's BAD is that the cheese factor has been amped up badly. This show clearly wasn't made to entertain kids and adults the way "Batman: The Animated Series" was. Even the original show was more adult in tone and was edited to remove a lot of the material from the "GoLion" series which it was called in Japan. The opening is not nearly as cinematic or eerie as that of the original, it actually sucks. The bad guys are not as menacing and the Voltron Force doesn't appear to be quite the same. Their personalities seem to have changed a bit.
What saddens me is that this seems like some kind of compromise for fans who really want a movie, but instead are given this show which seems to be a big toy commercial for the new generation of kids who will watch it. I guess that's business, but just the same it's petty disappointing.
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