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Voltron: Legendary Defender is A Magnificent Sci-Fi Series That Nerdy Parents Should Share with Their Kids [Review]

From Dreamworks, producers Joaquim Dos Santos/Lauren Montgomery (The Legend of Korra) and Netflix comes the animated series Voltron: Legendary Defender. Starring Kimberly Brooks, Rhys Darby, Josh Keaton, Tyler Labine, Jeremy Shada, Bex Taylor-Klaus and Steven Yeun. All 11 season one episodes will be available to stream on Netflix June 10, 2016.

Formed by five robotic lions, the mighty warrior known as Voltron returns after 10,000 years to protect the universe from evil. Explore the infinite reaches of space when VOLTRON: LEGENDARY DEFENDER comes to Netflix.

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Voltron: Legendary Defender just might be the best animated series on television (not counting Rick & Morty). So what that means is – I’m calling on all nerdy parents to watch this with your kids immediately. The writing, the stunning animation, the brilliant voice acting – the entire package that is Voltron – makes for what is without a doubt one of the finest Netflix original series yet. I was repeatedly blown away by the depth, humour and action that this show delivered in each of it’s 11 episodes. (Note: Episode one is an hour and ten minutes long).

Studio Mir (The Legend of Korra) went all out to craft a gorgeous series that rivals some of the finest anime shows today. The way they created the breath-taking fight sequences blew my mind. The sceneswhere Voltron is fighting other giant Kaiju-inspired monsters are badass – the new Power Rangers live-action film should take notes from Voltron.  I realize the original Voltron came before Power Rangers – and after watching this latest incarnation after never getting familiar with any of the previous shows, it’s actually kind of disturbing how many elements Power Rangers ripped off from this mythology. Stick with Voltron – the original and still the best in my opinion.

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The plot revolves around five humans who come together as a group to become paladins and pilot these giant flying robotic lions which all come together to form a robotic warrior hailed as Voltron. Keith (voiced by Steven Yeun from The Walking Dead) is the rebel of the group and plays the red paladin. I liked the special guest appearance by Norman Reedus as Rollo too by the way – nice touch for TWD fans. Jeremy Shada (Finn from Adventure Time) plays blue paladin Lance and he’s kind of the wise-cracking jock, of the crew. Bex Taylor-Klaus (MTV’s Scream) plays Pidge the Green paladin – our Donatello of the group if you will, with some very intriguing secrets that make way for some of the best subplots of the season. Josh Keaton (DC Super Hero Girls) is Shiro the leader of the group and black paladin. Shiro has the deepest subplot of the show as he was held captive by the villain Zarkon (Neil Caplan) before joining the heroic team. Tyler Labine (Tucker & Dale Vs Evil) is the yellow paladin Hunk and he is hysterical. The timing and comedic delivery that Labine has in this show is perfect.

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Kimberly Brooks (Ashley in Mass Effect) plays princess Allura and she helps the Voltron team in their quest to defeat the evil Galra Empire. There’s an episode near the end of the season in which Allura is forced to make a decision so gut-wrenching and emotional that I forgot I was watching an animated program – the writing is SO strong on this show. SO strong. Rhys Darby (Flight of the Concords) plays Coran, Allura’s assistant and yet another stellar dose of comedic relief. I laughed my ass off several times during Voltron, because it’s hilarious and so sharp, and well, because Darby’s Coran is funny as hell. From the moment he tried to use telepathy in order to command tiny mice to make him a sandwich in the pilot, I was a Coran fan.

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What makes Voltron stand apart from other animated shows, aside from it’s gorgeous visuals and superb story-telling, is the overall plot – which avoids the cliche one-off baddies. Everything connects into the bigger picture and you could easily hail season one as a gigantic movie that spans a few hours in length. From beginning to end, Voltron: Legendary Defender is a magnificent sci-fi outing for adults who love and appreciate this kind of nerdy genius in which they can share with their kids. I binged the first season and I’m super pissed off at that cliff-hanger ending, but I’ll take it because I was entertained so very hard. One of the things I found most intriguing is that I actually craved the moments where the paladins were NOT doing battle in their lions or as Voltron. It was the smaller action sequences and personal moments outside of the robots that hooked me in. That’s not to say the Voltron stuff wasn’t good – because it was damn fine, but the smaller scale moments were much more captivating and I look forward to seeing that continue in season two.

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