After the incredible success of Voltron: Legendary Defender, Dreamworks Animation now tries to revive another cartoon from the 80s with She-Ra And The Princesses Of Power. Though there were mixed initial reactions from the character designs, many still hoped the crew behind it would deliver an entertaining work. Was the studio able to revive another show or does it stumble from the gate?
Adora, an up and coming soldier in Hordak’s Army stumbles upon a mysterious sword which transformers her into the legendary warrior, She-Ra. Now Adora finds herself torn between her friend Catra, who still sides with Hordak’s forces and fighting for the rebellion, who are trying to preserve peace on the planet of Etheria.
The first thing which stands out about this new installment is the energy which comes from the different character interactions. Showrunner Noelle Stevenson shows off the skill she previous employed in her comic Lumberjanes by having simple events lead to deeper story telling moments. The series has a way of lulling you into becoming off guard and then hitting the watcher with some powerful character drama.
The show isn’t all just drama and character development. There are a lot of fun moments in the show thanks to the unique characters which are introduced. Characters such as Scorpia or Entrapta have very distinct personalities which make them a joy to watch when they are on screen. This blend of comedy and drama is what helps to make the show such a joy to watch.
The artwork is a mixbag displaying both the strength and weakness of the show. Though more criticism online seems to focus on the character designs, this is a mute point. The character designs are a phenomenal update compared to the original ones where characters all looked like super models and bodybuilders. Instead, it’s how the animation pacing which has the characters switch from more simple style (for comical purposes) to a more detailed and focused to convey the dramatic movements. It can be off putting at times.
On the other side of the coin, this fluctuating art style helps to push the story forward. As mentioned in the previous section this series is successful thanks to the mixture of drama and comedy which plays throughout the season. Even shows like Voltron: Legendary Defender or Avatar: The Last Airbender would have characters be drawn with large eyes, huge mouths, and distorted features to help sell the more comedic moments. Unfortunately, thanks to the more detailed and intense moments of the show, when this series does decide to use the more comedic style is does come off more noticeable than the other series. As it is effective way to tell the story and seemed like an intention of the creators, it won’t affect the score as much.
This series features a fantastic opening song with “Warriors” by Aaliyah Rose. It’s the kind of intro where you will not want to skip ahead because the song is just so enjoyable to hear. It’s so good, it makes the viewer feel like the opening animation sequence needs to be longer just so more of the song can be heard. When was the last time you found a series where you actually wanted a longer segment?
The soundtrack throughout the show also helps to set the scenes up in a very moving way. Scenes are made more intense and more comical thanks to the attention to detail put into the instrumental moments.
Though not as flawless as the first season of Voltron: Legendary Defender, the premiere of She-Ra And the Princesses of Power offers more than enough entertainment to guarantee a following. With any luck a second season will be announced in the upcoming weeks. There was a lot of elements which were introduced which can be expanded upon with more episodes. Hopefully it will help to prove why Hordak is such a viable threat for She-Ra moving forward.