Animation Premier Month Does Not Disappoint

When I found out that three of the animation premieres I had been so anxiously awaiting were all going to be shown on the same weekend, you better believe there would be no leaving my room for those 72 hours. Now some of you may be thinking, “You didn’t have anything better to do?” And my response to that question would be as follows, “Nope.”

But in all honesty, there was nowhere I’d rather have been than in front of a TV screen. The return of one of my favorite childhood series “Xiaolin Chronicles” (back then being titled “Xiaolin Showdown”) was coming to Disney XD. Along with that, a new show from the notorious Craig McCracken called “Wander Over Yonder” was being shown on the Disney Channel. And last, but most certainly not least, after a six month waiting period, “Book 2: Spirits” the second season of the greatly appraised “The Legend of Korra” was premiering on Nickelodeon in a special one-hour debut.

Wander Over Yonder

Clip from the "Wander Over Yonder" intro. All rights are property of Disney Channel.
Clip from the “Wander Over Yonder” intro. All rights are property of Disney Channel.

A new production from the brilliant mind of Craig McCracken (known for works like “Foster’s” and “The Powerpuff Girls”), along with some help from his incredible wife Lauren Faust (“Milky Way and the Galaxy Girls”, “MLP:FIM”).

I was able to catch a preview of this show on Disney Channel before the official premier date, and what hooked me in was not the cast, which is my usual go-to factor. Nor was it the writing. What got me was the unbelievable animation. At first glance, you won’t see what I mean. But once you’re in, you’ll know.

The first episode opened up, and I immediately had this warm, fuzzy feeling inside. I’ll try not to spoil anything, so please just take my word when I say that the way some scenes are illustrated, you can’t help but laugh and feel good. From what I’ve seen so far, taking into account the stories, the characters, the animation, and feedback from my peers, “Wander Over Yonder” gets a 7.5 out of 10.

Xiaolin Chronicles

I won’t be able to give a full review on this show due to the fact that sometimes when you need your satellite signal, things don’t always go the way you want. No matter how much you kick, scream, contemplate what point there is in living, or smack the TV, that signal is still the bridge between you and happiness.

Poster style for “Xiaolin Chronicles”. All rights are property of Disney Channel.

However, I was able to catch a bit of the preview on Disney XD before my unfortunate run-in with signal loss. Again, I’m trying not to spoil anything, but the cast is not entirely the same as “Showdown,” and you’ll notice if you watched the original show that Dojo has gotten a color makeover (but he’s still voiced by Wayne Knight, so, yay!).

They’ve also gone to a new transition into the actual xiaolin showdowns where the animation switches from 2D to 3D. This caught me off guard, but I guess we’ll have to wait and see what the true potential of that will turn out to be.

From the truncated preview alone, I can’t give a solid rating of the show’s debut, so I’ll just say that from the sneak peak, I’ll give Chronicles a 7 out of 10 (pending future viewing).

The Legend of Korra – Book 2: Spirits

Promotional picture for "The Legend of Korra Book 2: Spirits". All rights property of Nickelodeon.
Promotional picture for “The Legend of Korra Book 2: Spirits”. All rights property of Nickelodeon.

You can’t see it, but I’m sitting here writing this with a smile on my face. “Book 2: Spirits” aired on Sept. 14, and the trailer just before it was shown was more than enough to get me pumped up. It opened up with a very apparent showing of six months worth of work in animation.

Not too long into the episode, you’re reintroduced to all your favorites: Mako, Bolin, Tenzin, Asami, and, of course, Korra.

The dialogue sucked me in right away. You know you’ve done something right when the audience (in this case me) feels anger and joy for the characters. Everything else, from forming first impressions, laughing until it hurts, and getting really frustrated (in a good way), is just gravy.

If you haven’t seen the series premiere, what are you waiting for? It’s definitely worth the hour of your time. Overall, “Book 2: Spirits” gets a 9 out of 10.


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