Voltron: Legendary Defender Review!

Jondee here on Arus,

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Voltron was of course based on the Toei Animation series Beast King GoLion, yeah Voltron sounds better. It was adapted for American audiences by World Events Productions about a year before Robotech adapted by Harmony Gold took over the airwaves. Voltron was known for having one of the coolest toys assembling the lions into the full Voltron. This new series is by Dreamworks and released on Netflix. The animation has some anime touches and also the transformation scenes are CG. The first episode, “The Rise of Voltron“, is 68 minutes long which introduces the characters and gets to the formation of Voltron. The opening has Galaxy Garrison astronauts reaching Kerberos, the moon of Pluto, taking an ice sample when they are captured by an alien ship. They are captured by blue aliens. This moves “one year later” to a rescue mission for the astronauts by wisecracking pilot Lance (Jeremy Shada), bulky engineer Hunk (Tyler Labine), and tech wizard Pidge (Bex Taylor-Klaus). Hunk provides comic relief since he gets queasy on any wild flight. They fail the simulation and later Lance and Hunk slip out of their rooms to follow Pidge who is monitoring alien transmissions on the roof. The building goes into lockdown and the trio follows a crashed alien ship.  Pidge taps into the cameras and they see the astronaut lost on Kerberos, Shiro (Josh Keaton) with a cybernetic arm. A rescue mission is underway by Keith (Steven Yeun, from Walking Dead), a cadet kicked out for his recklessness, he breaks in to free Shiro and takes the others on his hover bike. I like the chase with Keith telling Hunk, “Big guy, lean right.” All of the team gets together to find clues to the cave. There they find the Blue Lion and Lance is able to enter and pilot it with the others. The alien ship returns and tries to pursue the Blue Lion which slips into a wormhole to the other side of the galaxy.

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They land at the castle on the planet Arus and enter to find two suspended animation capsules. One of them has the elf-like Princess Allura (Kimberly Brooks) and the other is Coran (Rhys Darby), a mustached, goofy advisor. They are the last of the Alteans after 10,000 years which means a hook up between them? Luckily, Allura’s father is missing or that would be awkward. The Alteans were threatened by the Galra Empire under Emperor Zarkon (Neil Kaplan) who is looking to take over the universe. He is advised by Witch Haggar (Cree Summer). Zarkon has sent Commander Sendak (Jake Eberle) to recover the lions. King Alfor has sent away the lions to protect them. The Black Lion is in the castle and can only be released with all of the lions.  Allura says that each of the lions corresponds to each personality; the Black Lion for a leader, Shiro, the Green Lion for intellect, Pidge, the Yellow Lion has the “mighty heart” of Hunk “holding them together”, the fast Red Lion, for the temperamental Keith. She has found the Green and Yellow Lions and sends the team, whom she calls Paladins through the wormholes. Shiro and Pidge use an Altean pod to fly to the jungle planet for the Green Lion. They find a massive alien that looks like sloth, which makes me think of Flash from Zootopia. It takes them on a canoe on the river and they see Pikachu-like creatures in the trees. Lance and Hunk go for the Yellow Lion and have get through Galran ships. It is interesting to see the Blue Lion pummeled by missiles so they are vulnerable. They manage to get the Yellow Lion, Hunk defends Lance with its armor, and slip back into the wormholes. Sendak’s ship is closing in on Arus, Allura can activate the shield around the castle, but the others need to break in to the ship and get the Red Lion. Allura has a particle barrier to shield the castle. Hunk suggests that the three lions form a snake instead of Voltron, love it. They need to find the Red Lion to get all of the lions to form Voltron and take on Zarkon and his Galra Empire. Allura gives them their armor and bayards, which turns into different weapons. Some of the music is electronic like in a video game reminding me of Tron. There are eleven episodes in this first season available to stream on Netflix. Four Blazing Swords out of Five!

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