I think it’s safe to say goodbye to She-ras and Voltrons, because a new opponent has been brought into the game and absolutely kills it. Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts is a show that you definitely need to watch. To have a cartoon at the time like this is quite extraordinary and it’s such an inspiration to be able to see it flourish the way it does.
Set in a post-apocalyptic world follows Kipo, a girl from underground who turns out to be quite purple for a human. Being thrown into the world above her underground home lets her set off on her adventure to reunite with her father she was separated from. Kipo’s adventures out on the surface world allow her to meet and befriend many people, even to the point where she gains her own group of ragtag teens to get involved with. From episode one down to ten, the innovative take of what used to be a comic delves into something so much more.
Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts takes art and animation to wondrous heights with it’s incredible palettes and flow of colors. Scenes in the show follow the moods of each episode, being especially careful to cater to the tone and how it should be seen. From bursting, bright colors for action-packed scenes of running away from killer animals, to somber and purple scenes for backstory, the show is able to do exactly what it’s main attraction is right. To be able to craft such greatness packed into a 24 minute episode is something so inspiring to me and kept me hooked on to the show from the preview trailers months before it dropped. Along with the art, Studio Mir goes above and beyond with the people working directly on animation. Each episode has such a charming and genuine drive, with its great flows and smooth transitions.
While Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts has a great grasp in the art department, the soundtrack bumps heads for first place. Songs of calming down abnormally large monkeys, harmonies between a daughter and father, and even trippy songs that make you question if whatever you’re seeing might be an illusion or not. The soundtrack is so immersive and dives into many genres– hip hop, pop, and maybe I could classify that trippy scene as some electric alternative (if that’s even a genre). My favorite track is Purple Jaguar Eye by Sterling K. Brown who plays Kipo’s father. The hypnotic beats and instruments throughout the song are great, especially the visuals for it. I would also, definitely recommend leaving Scarlemagne’s Waltz on repeat, that song for sure will make you feel eerie but also pleasantly pumped up. To be able to incorporate so many different varieties of musical talents within the show allows it to have the personality it gets in the end.
By far I think the best thing that ultimately makes this show amazing in itself is its characters. To have a kids show appeal to older audiences and let them even relate to these silly and rambunctious thirteen year olds is something that most cartoon shows can’t do. We have characters who go through major character arcs and grow, a canonical gay character (which I won’t spoil), and the use of the found family trope reaches out so far to mend them all together and allow them to grow with one another.
Kipo and her friends start off far apart from one another, but as time goes on, they each develop into themselves and I think that’s truly the greatest thing about the show. Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts is a show that should be shown on every platform known to mankind. It’s message is wonderful and there will be even more to come as the seasons come out.