My guy and me have wonderful memories of saturday morning cartoons. Our childhood and teenage years were when the Saturdays were spent watching cartoons while holding a breakfast plate on our laps. Even with my guy growing up and England and me growing up in The Netherlands, we discovered we watched a lot of the same cartoons. Mostly because I also watched BBC and other English broadcasters, such as Sky Channel or Super Channel. En we may not spend all of our Saturday morning in front of the TV, we try to recapture that feeling by picking a great cartoon to watch. In this case: Voltron Legendary Defender on Netflix.
Voltron Legendary Defender
This Netflix series is a sort of remake of an older series. The new series, created by Dreamworks, can be seen as a standalone, so you do not need to know about the other series. The story starts with 5 young people who find a space ship on earth. It’s in the shape of a lion and when they are om board, one of the 5 people suddenly knows how to fly it. Of course there is more to be discovered and they find 4 other lions, a princess and an alien. Somehow all of this shows there is danger for earth, unless the 5 friends get together to do battle against evil and protect the earth.
Voltron is the name given to an even bigger space schip or machine, which is created if the 5 space ship lions somehow mesh together. Voltron is a powerful weapon the the universe, but because the young friends don’t understand much of how it all works, each space battle becomes very tense.
Just long enough
Each episode is 23 minutes and that is just long enough. There is a nice predictability to the series: every episode has a scene where the five lions merge into Voltron (well, almost every episode). For a slightly older audience, there is the option to ‘ship’ some couples. And for adults like me and my guy, there is the nostalgia factor, but also the continuous storyline that keeps you engaged. And there is humour, because we all have to have something to laugh at.
The entire series is 8 seasons long, but some seasons only have 6 or 7 episodes. That is not a bad thing, because the story is told at a good pace. Voltron Legendary Defender is bingeable, but we enjoyed watching one episode per Saturday. It stretched it out. Mostly we just enjoy waiting a week to see how the cliffhanger gets resolved.
We appreciate the special episodes. In every season there is one episode thatis a bit silly and has little to do with the overarching plot. In season 6 it’s the episode Monsters and Mana, which takes place in a sort of Dungeons & Dragons setting. Coran tries to get the team to play a fantasty game. Despite ignoring the galactic war, there are a few little pointers in this episode as well. It is a very funny episode.
Though there are some stand-alone episodes, it is the continuity of the story that is the strength of Voltron Legendary Defender. The viewer gets introduced to the universe through the five friends, who are also discovering the stories and backstories. So you slowly find all the pieces of the bigger picture. You may just accept there is a space princess, but at some point you discover what happened to her planet. And why the big bad is so mean and fights everyone. It delivers a nice full story in the end. Even if the last two seasons are not the best: there is closure.
Voltron is fun
If you have heard of series such as Power Rangers or GoShogun (Macron1), or if Robotech means something to you or even Battle of the Planets, you may be a bit nostalgic when watching Voltron Legendary Defender. There is a bit of overlap. But for ‘new’ viewers Voltron is just as much fun, and potentially the basis of future nostalgia. There is humour, dramatic storylines where family members disappear and friendship is forever. And though there is violende, the series is suitable for 6 and older. The perfect show to watch with the kids.
Voltron is just a lot of fun, with or without kids. Or even if you’ve never seen science fiction before. I would recommend it for fans of science fiction, animation series or comedy series. Provided you don’t take it too seriously.