Voltron was one of my favorite shows as a kid. There was just something about it that caught my attention and drew me in. I enjoyed most of the same things that most kids my age enjoyed, like He-Man or Ninja Turtles or ThunderCats, but somehow Voltron always felt like my special show. That sounds weird, so let me try to explain what I mean. Did you ever have something that you enjoyed as a family or with your siblings, that you just really loved, but it felt like no one else in the world knew anything about it? You find out years later that a lot of people actually loved it as well, but you just never knew those people existed. That was Voltron for me. I had friends and cousins who loved He-Man, Transformers, G.I. Joe, ThunderCats, and Ninja Turtles, but I never really knew anyone else who liked Voltron. Part of this may have been because I was between two and three years old when it came out, so I didn’t really spend a lot of time hanging out with fellow geeks and talking about which Lion was our favorite.
Years later, though, I began to spend a lot more time hanging out with fellow geeks and talking about the kind of stuff we all enjoyed as kids, and I learned that everyone who knew Voltron, loved Voltron. What wasn’t to like? It was five lions piloted by five kids who would combine them into a giant robot that defended the universe. How is that not awesome. Plus, it was probably the first animation from japan that I remember seeing, and I thought it was beautiful compared to the crap we were producing here in the states. ( I love me some original TMNT cartoons, but I mean, come on, the quality stinks)
It was an idea that resonated so well with kids that they were able to bring it back in the live action, poorly done Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers, and have a ton of success. In fact, Voltron improbably the reason I hate the Power Rangers. Yes, I mean hate. My brother got into the original Power Rangers, so whenever I tried to explain to him what Voltron was, his response was always: “Soo…It’s just a cartoon version of Power Rangers?’ No! It was better. A lot better. 90s kids will never know how awesome Power Rangers wasn’t because they never knew Voltron.
There have been attempts to bring Voltron back, but we will not talk about them here because they were all hideous, and no one should ever try to remember them. We should forget them out of existence, if such a thing is possible. In fact, I tried to look them up to insert a picture here, but I had to stop because they were just making me angry. As a result of these failed attempts, I was a bit hesitant to get too excited when Netflix and Dreamworks announced that they would be working together to bring Voltron back.
You might be thinking that I should have known better than that. I should trust Netflix by now. The original programming that they have produced has been amazing. They are making incredible TV shows right now, better than almost anyone. Their dramas are huge hits with critics and fans alike. I know people love shows like Orange is the New Black, House of Cards, Daredevil, and Jessica Jones. I have children, though, so I am also aware of shows like King Julian, Adventures of Puss in Boots, Turbo FAST, and Dawn of the Croods, all of which were produced together with Dreamworks Animation studios. If you have not seen these shows, just trust me, they are not as high quality as the dramas mentioned above. I was nervous that they would treat Voltron, my beloved Voltron with the same lack of care as the above mentioned titles.
I was wrong. Voltron: Legendary Defender was amazing.The first season was way better than I expected it to be. One of the areas where their animated shows were always lacking was the story. The shows they had done previously were not story driven titles, and the intended audience was little kids, who really don’t care much about the story, or at least people in Hollywood believe that. I was hoping they would not gear Voltron to that audience. I was hoping they would right it for people like me, who had the original as a kid, and want something epic to share with their kids. This needed to feel more like Clone Wars, with a somewhat complex story, but plenty of flash and fun for the kids.
Voltron delivers in every way. My sons and I sat down to watch it together, the two of them being less than enthusiastic about yet another show Dad wanted to share with them. Half way through the first episode, and they were hooked. I caught my older son watching the series over and over again, and each time I felt a sense of pride. They really liked it a lot. Even better news, I really liked it. In this age of reboots and remakes, sometimes it is easy to be overly negative and expect the worst when a title we really enjoy gets redone. Every once in a while, though, a show like Voltron comes along and it reminds us why we loved this show and these characters in the first place. That’s how I felt as I watched it, and now I am hooked again, anxiously awaiting the second season, finding myself randomly humming the original Voltron theme song. I am excited about it, and I really believe the Voltron I always loved is back, and may even be better than ever.
What did you think of the new Voltron series on Netflix? Were you as excited as me, or am I just crazy? Let us know in the comments below, or you can email your feedback tome directly at [email protected].