If you remember Voltron from your childhood, or if you and/or your kids want to watch something exciting and funny, you should turn on the Voltron Force marathon on Nicktoons starting today at noon Eastern Time. It’s a clever show that both works as an excellent sequel to, and pokes fun at, the old Voltron series from several decades ago.
The series features the pilots of the lion Voltron (nobody really liked the vehicle version better, did they?) back again: Keith, Lance, Hunk, Pidge, and Princess Allura – only now they’re a bit older and mentoring several young cadets with the ultimate goal of having them take over the lions. The original series is (mostly implicitly) taken as backstory, with Lotor having been recently brought back from the dead and now king of Planet Doom. The cadets are, as you’d probably expect, not too inclined to follow the rules all the time, and each has his or her own specialties and/or strange possibly-psychic powers.
Now, if you remember the old Voltron, you’ll recall that the plot in each episode was essentially the same, with Planet Arus under attack by Lotor and/or his father King Zarkon, usually having something to do with Lotor wanting to marry Princess Allura. This would eventually include a Robeast, which the lions would take on in battle, but which would eventually force them to form Voltron to defeat it. Of course, the Blazing Sword would always take down a Robeast without much trouble.
You’ll be glad to know that Voltron Force is much, much less repetitive. Not only are there a wide assortment of plots, but they even send up the old show. For example, in one episode someone asks why they don’t just form Voltron first thing rather than wait until they get beat up, because they always end up having to do it anyway. In another episode, they fight an enemy that attacks them while they’re in the process of forming Voltron — preventing them from completing it — instead of politely waiting like every other enemy; someone points out that they’re lucky that’s never happened before, which you’ll have to admit is true. They’ve even made fun of the repetition of the same background art during chase scenes.
Oh, yes, and they had ninja scientist zombies in the most recent episode, which will be shown during today’s marathon. It should be on at 8:30, because at 9:00 (again, all times are Eastern) a brand new episode premieres which will feature the return of original blue lion pilot Sven — if that doesn’t mean anything to you, don’t worry — it’ll all be explained. See a clip of the ninja scientist zombies and a short clip from the Sven episode below. Note that the animation is, as you’d hope it would be, way ahead of the old show — not only are a lot of the fight sequences and pretty much anything involving Voltron computer-rendered, but when the characters speak, they actually can move something other than their mouths!
So, in summary, if you’re in the mood for some kind-of campy, and often very funny, adventure cartoons, you owe it to yourself to give Voltron Force a try. It’s not brilliant and it’s not educational, but it is a heck of a lot of fun — particularly (though not exclusively) if you grew up watching the original show.
The marathon of back episodes runs from noon to 9:00pm Eastern Time today, Sunday, November 27. At 9:00 the new episode will air. All episodes will be shown on Nicktoons — check your cable/fiber optic guide to find the network on your local system.