Voltron: Legendary Defender’s Premiere is Top Quality Animation with a Generic Story
By: Dylan Hysen
All of Dreamworks’ new Voltron: Legendary Defender dumped on Netflix today with an hour-long premiere, consisting of the first three episodes of the show. What’s immediately apparent in watching this new Voltron reboot is that we are witnessing American animation of the highest possible quality, the highest we’ve gotten since The Legend of Korra ended. Indeed the crew behind this new Voltron is almost exclusively made up of talent from Korra at a high creative level, with animation from the incredible Studio Mir in South Korea. It makes for an incredible viewing experience, if you can tolerate the generic 80s sci-fi story that comes along with it.
The writing for this premiere (by three Korra and Avatar writers) isn’t bad, it just stands out as generic and anachronistic in the current age of incredible and progressive storytelling in high quality animation. Nothing we get from this premiere story-wise is on the same stratosphere as the writing from a Korra or Steven Universe. The characterizations are base-level, the story is generic, and the humor is mostly quite bad. But it’s good enough for what this premiere serves as, an introduction and exposition to this new universe. This is a jumping off point. We need to have our characters, the world, and the mythology behind Voltron clearly established before getting into what I hope is more ambitious storytelling. What I love about how the premiere is structured story-wise is how fast-paced it is, letting the great visuals and action guide my experience, rather than the fairly weak mythology behind Voltron. They get that stuff all out of the way in these episodes, at the time when the audience is going to be the most tolerant of uninteresting mythology.
Watch this new Voltron for the highest quality animation you’ll see anywhere on television, and for the fun, somewhat brainless experience of watching an epic 80s space opera. Hopefully we’ll stay for the great crew behind this series turning it into something far greater.